Youth unemployed need tough love, says Tony Abbott

The Australian

April 17, 2014

Generation Success Main Event

TONY Abbott told an audience of leading employers that old-fashioned tough love could help solve the youth-unemployment crisis.

Recalling working in a pub and earning cash for manual ­labour jobs, the Prime Minister told the Generation Success forum in Sydney: “You have to be prepared to have a go, work hard and don’t believe any job is beneath you. We all have to start somewhere.”

The forum was organised by Woolworths with support from News Corp Australia, publisher of The Australian, as youth unemployment is above 12 per cent, twice the national average.

The event concluded that government and business needed to acknowledge university was not always the best option for young people. Instead, a greater emphasis on skills-based training would improve the career prospects of young Australians.

Officials from the commonwealth Department of Employment will now develop a plan of action including vocational training and work experience programs.

Woolworths chief executive Grant O’Brien said: “The aim of Generation Success was to foster a national debate around the importance of a first job. It is also about how we can make a genuine difference for young Aus­tralians looking for work.”