A commendable idea and mildly surprising from a Leftist government but how is she going to do it? For many young Australians it is a rational decision to live on the dole and go to the beach rather than undertake any kind of training. I am afraid this is just more Leftist hot air. The Rudd government and the Obama government are remarkably similar in that respect. They both claim that they can solve big problems but in reality have only the most superficial ideas about how to do so

YOUNG Australians should start filling many of the jobs currently taken by imported labour, the Federal Government says. The current reliance on imported labour will not help young Australians find work in future, Education and Employment Minister Julia Gillard says. “Obviously, with skilled migration we are dealing with the skills challenges of today,” Ms Gillard said.

“But for the future, I don’t want us to be in a country where we are desperately scouring the world for skilled labour, and to get people to come here and do jobs, whilst at the same time young Australians are unemployed and can’t get a start. “We want to make sure that we are getting those young Australians a start, so they can fill those jobs.”

Ms Gillard was speaking after the launch of Australian Workforce Futures: A National Workforce Development Strategy. It is a report by Skills Australia, an independent statutory body providing advice to the education minister on the skills needed for Australia’s workforce and how to develop them.

In a speech at the launch, she said the global financial crisis had reduced the need for technicians and trade workers, and created demand for more professional jobs. “Essentially, there is a long-term trend of growth in demand for higher skills, and a reduction in the share of low and unskilled jobs,” Ms Gillard said. In the 12 months to November 2009, Australia shed 97,000 technical and trade jobs, she said. At the same time 78,300 professional jobs had been created. Youth unemployment was unacceptably high in regional Australia and in areas that had relied on manufacturing for generation after generation, she said.

Addressing the problem would require lifting literacy and numeracy skills, and encouraging Australians to further their education. “The more you learn, the more you earn,” Ms Gillard said. “There is a benefit to individuals in full-time employment of approximately $100 per week for each extra year of education beyond compulsory schooling. “A person with a bachelor degree earns about 24 per cent above average earnings. “A person leaving school before finishing Year 11 tends to earn 20 per cent below average earnings. “And those with post-school qualifications are also able to work around seven years longer than those without post-school qualifications.” [Faulty logic there. It’s the brighter kids who undertake further education and they would probably do better anyway]