The Turnbull Government’s announcement that it has struck a ‘deal’ with retailers to create up to 10,000 internships through its infamous PaTH program does little to create real opportunities for young job seekers in retail who just days ago, had their penalty rates cut.
“No one disagrees with the objective of giving young Australians a pathway into real work but this scheme runs the risk of being a road to nowhere.”
SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said that the PaTH program provided a tax payer funded mechanism to provide cheap labour for retailers while creating false hope for vulnerable young job seekers that there would be a full-time job at the end of their internship.
“By its own admission the Government has confirmed that over 85% of participants who complete the PaTH internship do not gain full time employment through the process.”
“It appears that young job seekers are being set up to fail, and this can be devastating to their morale, mental health and long-term job prospects.”
“We need to provide vulnerable young job seekers with proper training and paid opportunities.”
“It is outrageous that the Turnbull Government thinks it is acceptable to pay young people $4 an hour for 3 months and then legally allow them to be discarded at the end of that process.”
“Where are the industrial safeguards and proper monitoring systems to ensure taxpayers’ money is being used to create real job opportunities and not just cheap temporary labour?”
Mr Dwyer also said that the 10,000 low paid PaTH internships would allow retailers to avoid hiring part time and casual employees, hurting young workers who were already underemployed and looking for additional shifts.
“The PaTH internships provide employers with a pool of young low paid workers that retailers can use to replace part time and casual workers they would normally have to pay award rates.”
“We know that part time and casual retail workers, who have just had their penalty rates cut, are already struggling. Today’s announcement will only make their predicament worse.”
“The Turnbull Government has made an absolute fiasco of the country’s vocational training system, its slashing the take home pay of young workers and now creating a system where young job seekers could be exploited as cheap labour.”
“Malcolm Turnbull and his Government need to stop treating young people with contempt, and start treating them with fairness by providing them with real training, real job opportunities and proper pay.”
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