Justice, Opportunity and Shared Wealth for all South Australians

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The SA jobs crisis: it’s much more than the Holden shutdown

SACOSS is today launching its State Budget Submission 2016-17 which contains recommendations where the state government could and should do more to tackle the state’s jobs crisis.

SACOSS is today launching its State Budget Submission 2016-17 which contains recommendations where the state government could and should do more to tackle the state’s jobs crisis.

SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley says, “The government has rightly focused on the major impact of the Holden shutdown and providing support to workers losing their jobs in that context.”

“But it’s not just Holden workers who need assistance. We’re equally concerned about the lack of opportunities, training and support for people who are already unemployed”.

South Australia currently has the highest unemployment rate of all states and territories. When combined with an underemployment rate of 10.5%, almost 18% of the labour force is underutilised. This means that more than 150,000 South Australians are unemployed or looking for extra hours.

The SACOSS submission contains 23 recommendations to grow employment opportunities, provide skills, and better address the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged job seekers.

Among the recommendations, SACOSS is urging the state government to address the scarcity of entry-level jobs for young people through measures including the re-introduction of the payroll tax exemption for apprentices and trainees, and by doubling of the number of graduate positions under the Jobs4Youth program.

The budget submission contains specific recommendations on training and skills including:

  • increased funding to ACE providers through the Foundation Skills Grants;
  • a new ACE engagement program;
  • reinstatement of subsidised training places for community sector RTOs with a good track record;
  • time-limited wage subsidies for people who have participated in Work Ready’s Jobs First Employment Projects;
  • Exemption of student course fees for people on Centrelink benefits; and
  • Ongoing funding of the Building Family Opportunities program.

The submission reiterates SACOSS’ long standing call that a fair and sustainable revenue base should be maintained for the benefit of all South Australians.

“While SACOSS understands in the last budget the government sought to stimulate economic activity by providing business tax cuts," says Ross Womersley.

"This time around any additional revenue should be allocated to employment and other much needed social services for the benefit of all South Australians.”

You can access a copy of the SACOSS State Budget Submission 2016-17 here.

For more information and comment, contact:
Tania Baxter, Communications Officer 8305 4227 or 0432 902 105
Ross Womersley, SACOSS CEO 0418 805 426

Published Date: 
Monday, 7 March 2016