Labor fails youth hit hardest by COVID-19

The Andrews Labor Government has no plan to help get young Victorians, hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, back into work.

Jobs have been decimated in key industries for youth employment such as retail, hospitality, tourism and events, and young Victorians are facing long term unemployment.

In Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearings, the Minister for Youth, Ros Spence, confirmed the Andrews Labor Government had no plan to get more young Victorians back into jobs after the massive impact of four lockdowns and the harsh restrictions imposed by the Government as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under repeated questioning from Liberal members of the Committee, the Minister for Youth confirmed astonishingly that the Youth portfolio did not contain a single performance measure targeted at getting more young Victorians back into work.

Since the start of Victoria’s most recent lockdown, Services Australia has reported a staggering 62 per cent increase in the number of Victorians applying for JobSeeker and Youth Allowance.

The Andrews Labor Government plans to spend over $33 million on youth programs in the next financial year, however not one cent of this funding will be spent to help get young Victorians back into work.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Youth, Bridget Vallence:

“The massive increase in young Victorians seeking JobSeeker and Youth Allowance support tells a troubling story of how disproportionately young Victorians have been impacted by repeated lockdowns and harsh restrictions which have decimated youth jobs in retail, hospitality, tourism and events.

“It’s completely unacceptable that the Minister for Youth has no plan, not even one target, to help get more young Victorians back into work.

“The Andrews Labor Government risks creating a lost generation of young Victorians unless urgent action is taken with meaningful programs that help get them back into work.”

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