UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES PAVE THE WAY FOR SKILLS
Catholic Social Services Australia Executive
Director, Frank Quinlan, today welcomed news that unemployment figures
remained at 4.9 per cent, but he said there was still an urgent need
to invest more in skills and training, especially for young people,
people with a disability and sole parents.
Commenting on Australian Bureau of Statistics
employment figures released today, Mr Quinlan said many Australians
still experience serious barriers to employment.
“Today’s figures provide the opportunity
for the Government to release additional funds to help some of the country’s
most marginalised people prepare for meaningful, long term work,”
Mr Quinlan said.
“Investment in skills, training and
support will help many of these people overcome the difficulties and
be more competitive in the labour market.
“It will also go a long way to meeting
the needs of employers who are finding it hard to fill jobs because
of a skilled labour shortage.
“Many people would welcome the opportunity
to join the workforce or increase their participation, sooner rather
than later, but need help through existing programs like the Personal
Support Programme, Job Placement Employment and Training and Disability
Open Employment Service.
“There’s been a welcome investment
in these programs, but more places are urgently needed.
“Over 7,500 people are on waiting lists
for PSP alone. These lists are up to 12 months in some areas of Australia.
Many of these people have a mental illness and many are homeless.
“The Government promised an additional
8,000 PSP places over five years in the 2006 Budget. These places
should be released now to provide urgently needed help.
“With a strong economy and a strong
labour market, Australia is well placed to care for people who may never
“We are also in a strong position to
support those people who contribute so much to society through unpaid
work,” Mr Quinlan said.
Catholic Social Services Australia provides
services to over a million Australians each year.
13 July 2006 12/2006
CONTACT Judith Tokley 02 6285 1366 / 0408 824 306