Federal Budget 2021
A welcome investment in women, mental health, and training but no long term plan for young people
MYAN welcomes the investment in women, increased support in mental health, extension to the JobTrainer program, and a significant commitment to new apprenticeships and traineeships. However, with no long term plan for young people in the Budget, we are concerned about a ‘lost generation’ of youth.
“We are concerned that young people, particularly from Culturally Diverse and First Nations backgrounds have not been recognised in the Budget despite the crucial role they play in the ongoing long term recovery of the Australian economy,” says Carmel Guerra, Chair of MYAN.
“We are happy to see the new investment to support refugee women and other migrant women’s safety and social economic inclusion and also the government’s effort to close the gendered inequality gap by focusing on improving women’s health, safety and economic participation. We are concerned this allocation lacks an intersectional approach and should consider the impact of other forms of inequality and disadvantage that also impact young women from migrant and refugee backgrounds,” says Rana Ebrahimi, National Manager of MYAN.
We particularly welcome the investments in:
- $278.6 million over four years from 2021-22 to expand and enhance headspace youth mental health services
- $16.9 million to fund mental health early intervention supports and preventive measures for migrants and multicultural communities
- $3.4 billion to improve women’s safety, economic security, and health and wellbeing including:
- $164.8 million in financial support for women who escape family and domestic violence
- $23.9 million over three years from 2021-22 to support refugee women and other migrant women’s safety and social economic inclusion
- $6.8 million to continue the delivery of critical services for culturally diverse communities through to 30 June 2022 when the current National Plan comes to an end
- Allowing student visa holders greater flexibility to work more than 40 hours per fortnight
- $506.3 million over two years from 2021-22 to extend the JobTrainer Fund
- Additional $2.7 billion over four years with the aim of creating more than 170,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships for young people
- $31.5 million to expand the superannuation guarantee to include employees earning less than $450 per month, particularly benefitting women
- $10.7 million over three years to trial up to four industry-led Digital Skills Cadetship pilots
While we welcome these announcements, MYAN is concerned the Budget lacks:
- Strategic and targeted investment in young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to address economic, social, and civic barriers that have been exacerbated by COVID-19
- An anti-racism strategy for Australia, particularly given the escalations in racially motivated abuse amid COVID-19 and the impact of racism on social cohesion and on young people’s well-being
MYAN has previously identified ways that the government can invest in targeted responses to help young people weather the impacts of COVID-19 and recover strongly into the future. We look forward to working with the government to support further developments in the areas of youth employment, mental health, racism and discrimination, gender equality, and increased youth participation.