A range of proposals to expand training and job opportunities for young Western Australians was announced today by Premier Carmen Lawrence.
Dr Lawrence said the latest initiatives would bring to more than 10,000 the total number of training and work places available to young people in this State.
The new moves targeted:
· young people entering the workforce for the first time;
· long-term unemployed; and -
· employers seeking incentives and assistance to take on young workers.
A total of 1,600 new positions would be offered in the public sector.
"The Government's overriding objective is to give as many young people as possible a `leg-up' as they enter the job market," Dr Lawrence said.
The programs would involve a mixture of work and training for up to 18 months and would be designed in co-operation with relevant industry associations and unions.
"The new schemes will give successful applicants training in the public service on a training wage equivalent to 75 per cent of the 18-year-old base rate," the Premier said.
"After the completion of their training, successful trainees would move to normal age-based salary rates in either the public or private sector.
"The first 400 positions will be available from December with the remainder on offer from early next year."
Trainees would not be guaranteed appointments in the public sector. However, it was expected most would be offered positions after completing training satisfactorily.
"The new schemes will ensure that the momentum of youth employment continues with an emphasis on training and work experience through the public service," Dr Lawrence said.
The Premier also announced three initiatives to supplement Commonwealth youth employment projects in Western Australia.
· $1 million to the Jobstart program for the private sector employment of 1,000 long-term unemployed aged between 17-20;
· $500,000 to support up to 500 trainees under the Australian traineeship system;
· $168,000 to assist the employment of 300 long-term unemployed aged 21 and over.
Other new State-Commonwealth training and job programs in Western Australia included:
· 650 positions for Aboriginal youth;
· 300 trainee positions in the health industry;
· an extra 100 private sector apprenticeships;
· 260 positions through a Lotteries Commission Youthlink program; and,
· 245 positions in the building industry.
"Young people will be given the opportunity to develop skills which will enhance both their employment prospects and their contribution to the development of Western Australia," Dr Lawrence said.
The new moves complement other training opportunities provided by the State and Federal Governments including:
· more than 2,500 training positions in accredited training for long-term unemployed;
· 1,000 positions under the Conservation Corps project;
· 500 permanent part-time positions in the public sector through `Social Advantage' programs;
· 400 private sector opportunities through Project Employ Youth;
· 350 positions in the Carmichael training scheme; and,
· 170 positions for school-leavers with disabilities.
The Premier said details of the various programs would be advertised in the press later this week and the Project Employ Youth office had agreed to be the first point of contact for potential trainees and employers. The office could be contacted on 325 9322 or 008 999 167.