Parliamentary Statement - Partnership Brokers

Young people in the Hunter are amongst the many who have been betrayed by the Abbott government's first budget. It is not just changes to youth allowance. Youth Express and Joblink Plus are two exceptionally efficient organisations based in the electorate which deliver the Partnership Brokers National Network. Last year 10,000 young people in the Hunter benefited from the Partnership Brokers program.

Partnership Brokers is a diverse program which has helped young people to reconnect, to re-engage in education or to secure employment opportunities. Partnership Brokers work with schools, business and the broader community to assist our young people to achieve another chance in life—a chance to learn and a chance to work and of course all the benefits that come with obtaining a job. Partnership Brokers also help local economies by addressing skill shortages and making sure people are being trained in the areas where job opportunities exist or will emerge.

You can understand my disbelief when this government in its budget decided to abolish this program. This is a backward step, a short-sighted step, one which will affect many youth around the country, particularly youth in the Hunter Valley, and of course it will have adverse impacts on economies right around Australia.

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