‘Huge priority’: PM hints at financial aid for young Aussies

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PM hints at more financial aid for young Aussies. Source: Getty
PM hints at more financial aid for young Aussies. Source: Getty

Young Australians might see some financial aid come their way in this year’s budget, with the Prime Minister hinting at more support at the Youth Futures Summit on Monday.

While Prime Minister Scott Morrison couldn’t confirm whether a national strategy to address issues facing young Australians was in the works, he did say the Government would continue to support Australians through the budget.

“There's no shortage of attention on the issues that are impacting young people,” Morrison said.

“And my government will continue to address those in every single budget. As we have.”

Between March and May, 44 per cent of the total job losses in Australia were young Australians aged 15 to 24, and the underemployment rate of this cohort is realistically around 32 per cent, but Morrison was optimistic about the future.

“I know that young people have lost jobs, but I know 150,000 young people have found jobs again in the last few months,” he said.

“And there will be more. The way our economy has been impacted by the shutdowns means that it's actually young people, while being the first to be impacted, will also be the first to find jobs again.”

He said the Government’s $2 billion JobTrainer program would go towards getting young people trained and back into jobs.

“Getting young people in jobs, that is our strategy. That is our plan,” Morrison said.

“And for that, they need the training, they need the skills and they need the jobs that they can go into, that realises their economic opportunities and gives them that start in life...It’s a huge priority for me.”

When asked about the education minister’s policy to increase certain university course fees, Morrison said the scheme was designed to create more uni positions for regional Aussies.

“[Education Minister Dan Tehan] is trying to get more opportunities and particularly for young people in regional areas who so often have to leave their homes, leave their communities, leave the life that they want to have in regional areas and have to go to other places,” Morrison said.

“We want to give them those opportunities where they are.”

He also hinted that a JobSeeker boost could be extended beyond December, with that decision set to be made “in the not too distant future”.

“We are waiting until we get to a better position in the pandemic before we make longer term commitments on this.”

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