Labor Government fails young people hit hardest by COVID-19

Daniel Andrews and his Labor Government risk creating a lost generation as a result of their failures that caused Victoria’s second wave and months of lockdown, disrupting education and decimating jobs for young people.

Young Victorians are facing long term unemployment, set-backs in their education, mental health challenges and an increased risk of suicide. Jobs have been decimated in key industries for youth employment such as retail, hospitality and tourism.

Youth unemployment in Victoria has reached levels not seen in Victoria for over two decades. The ABS has reported that youth unemployment in Victoria now sits at 18.2 per cent. This statistic tells a troubling story about the extent to which COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted young Victorians.

Despite the jobs crisis currently facing Victoria, the Andrews Labor Government has not used its record-breaking spending to adequately combat challenges faced by young Victorians today.

A few new Scout halls, a small and limited amount of funding for mental health and a Department of Jobs output requiring only 280 Government Youth Employment Scheme traineeships in 2020-21 will hardly make any impact. It won’t touch the sides of Victoria’s youth jobs crisis.

The government needs to do more to support those hardest hit by the second wave of COVID-19 that Labor created through its failures and mismanagement of hotel quarantine. 

The Victorian Liberal Nationals call on the government to commit to restoring 143,000 youth jobs by 1 January 2022 and to increase funding for youth mental health programs beyond that included in the 2020-21 budget.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Youth Affairs, Bridget Vallence:

“The levels of youth unemployment in Victoria reflect a youth jobs crisis that Labor’s 2020-21 budget has failed to tackle.

“Youth jobs in retail, hospitality and tourism have been decimated after Labor shut these industries down and left them to languish for too long.

“Labor must commit to restoring the 143,000 youth jobs that have been lost by 1 January 2022.

“Labor missed an opportunity to give hope to young Victorians yesterday, instead only delivering doom with $155 billion of Government debt and the interest that comes with it, for young people to pay off for generations.”

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