PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6778

TO THE ROTARY CONFERENCE, SYDNEY, 9 NOVEMBER 1985

Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 09/11/1985

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 6778

PRIME MINISTER
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY EMBARGOED UNTIL DELIVERY
TO THE ROTARY CONFERENCE
SYDNEY -9 NOVEMBER 1985.
DISTINGUISHED GUESTS
ROTARIANS I AM INDEED PLEASED TO BE HERE TODAY AT THE ANNUAL
CONFERENCE OF ROTARY DISTRICT 975. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR
DISTRICT COVERS A GOOD STRETCH OF THE MAGNIFICENT NEW SOUTH
WALES COASTLINE, FROM SOUTH OF THE HARBOUR TO KIAMA.
COVERING SUCH AN AREA, I CAN APPRECIATE THAT ANNUAL
CONFERENCES REPRESENT ONE OF THE FEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOME.
OF YOUR TWO AND A HALF THOUSAND MEMBERS, REPRESENTING OVER
CLUBS, TO MEET AND EXCHANGE IDEAS.
ON THIS OCCASION YOUR CHOICE OF THEME, THE CHALLENGE OF
CHANGE, IS AN IMMENSE AND DIVERSE TOPIC. BUT IT IS ONE
WHICH IS OF GREAT IMPORTANCE TO OUR SOCIETY AND IS CERTAINLY
AN ISSUE WHICH IS OF GREAT INTEREST TO THE GOVERNMENT AND TO
MYSELF. IN 1979, WHEN PRESENTING THE BOYER LECTURES, I ARGUED THAT
OUR SOCIETY HAS BEEN, AND STILL IS BEING, OVERWHELMED BY
CHANGES OF DIMENSIONS ALMOST BEYOND OUR COMPREHENSION. IN
THOSE LECTURES-I QUOTED THE CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN THINKER
KENNETH BOULDING, WHO STATED:
" THE. WORLD OF TODAY IS AS DIFFERENT FROM THE WORLD IN
WHICH I WSBORN AS THAT WORLD WAS FROM JULIUS CAESAR'S.
ALMOST AS MUCH HAS HAPPENED SINCE I WAS BORN AS HAPPENED
BEFORE."'
THIS OBSERVATION IS EVEN MORE RELEVANT TODAY THAN IT WA~ S
SOME 6 YEARS AGO, IN 1979.
NEEDLESS TO SAY, WE ARE ALL AWARE THAT THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
IS ONE OF RAPID CHANGE.
AND THE PROBLEMS THAT THIS CHANGE PRESENTS ARE NOT SOMETHING
THAT CAN BE FIXED OVERNIGHT.
NOT TODAY, NOT TOMORROW.

AND TODAY I WOULD LIKE TO OVERVIEW MY GOVERNMENT'S
INTEGRATED POLICIES ON THE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO PLAY A
MAJOR ROLE IN COMING TO GRIPS WITH THE CHALLENGES OF CHANGE.
THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF OUR COUNTRY. YOUNG AUSTRALIA.
IT'S THIS GENERATION OF YOUNG AUSTRALIANS THAT'S NOW COMING
INTO THE WORKFORCE THEIR BRAINS, THEIR ENERGY, THEIR
ENTHUSIASM THAT WILL LIFT THIS COUNTRY TO THE FRONT LINE
OF THE WORLD'S INDUSTRIAL POWERS. WE MUST SETTLE FOR
NOTHING LESS.
WE CAN NURTURE THE TALENT, THE ENERGY, THE VIGOR, THE
CREATIVITY OF YOUNG AUSTRALIA OR WE CAN LET IT WITHER ON
THE VINE.
AND I DO NOTBELIEVE THAT THERE IS ANYONE HERE TODAY WHO
WOULD CONTEMPLATE THE LATTER. FOR MANY OF YOU IN ROTARY
HAVE BEEN AND ARE SO ACTIVE WITHIN YOUR COMMUNITIES AT
ADDRESSING CHANGE AND YOUTH ISSUES AT THE LOCAL LEVEL.
THE GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS THAT COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IN YOUTH
PROGRAMS ARE VITAL. I HEARTILY SUPPORT THE EFFORTS THAT YOU
ARE MAKING IN THE GENERAL AREA OF ASSISTING YOUNG
AUSTRALIANS, AND I UNDERSTAND THAT IN THIS DISTRICT LAST
YEAR YOUR CLUBS SUPPORTED ABOUT 34 PROJECTS WHICH WERE
EITHER EDUCATION RELATED, OR SPECIFICALLY AIMED AT YOUTH. I
COMMEND YOUR EFFORTS.
MY GOVERNMENT ALSO BELIEVES THAT YOUNG PEOPLE MUST BE
SUPPORTED, AND MUST BE GIVEN EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN
ABOUT THE EMPLOYMENT POSSIBILITIES THAT EXIST IN THE LABOUR
MARKET. IN SHORT THEY MUST BE GIVEN ASSISTANCE TO COME TO
GRIPS WITH THE MONUMENTAL CHANGES WHICH ARE OCCURRING IN OUR
SOCIETY. THE CHANGES THAT HAVE OCCURRED IN THE ECONOMY, THE LABOUR
M4ARKET AND SOCIETY AT LARGE OVER THE LAST DECADE HAVE HAD A
CONSIDERABLE IMPACT-ON THOSEYOUNG PEOPLE-WHO ARE'SEEKING
EITHER FULL OR PART-TIME WORK AND ON THOSE WHO ARE PURSUING
FULL-TIME EDUCATION.
THERE HAS BEEN A RAPID DECLINE SINCE THE MID 19601S IN
ACCESS BY YOUNG PEOPLE TO FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT. BETWEEN
1966 AND 1983, THERE WAS A DECLINE OF ALMOST A THIRD IN THE
NUMBER OF FULL-TIME JOBS HELD BY TEENAGERS, WITH MORE--
EXPERIENCED, BETTER-TRAINED ADULT WORKERS TAKING AN
INCREASING SHARE OF AVAILABLE JOBS IN A COMPETITIVE LABOUR.
MARKET. THE INCREASED AVAILABILITY OF PART-TIME WORK OVER THIS
PERIOD HAS NOT OFFERED ANY REAL COMPENSATION, SINCE IT HAS
LARGELY BEEN TAKEN UP BY YOUNG PEOPLE STILL IN EDUCATION.
CURRENTLY, FOR EXAMPLE, TEENAGE SCHOOL STUDENTS ACCOUNT FOR
BETWEEN 50 AND 60 PER CENT OF ALL PART-TIME JOBS HELD BY
TEENAGERS.

THESE TRENDS HAVE BEEN EXACERBATED BY THE LACK OF
OPPORTUNITIES FOR STRUCTURED VOCATIONAL TRAINING AVAILABLE
FOR SCHOOL LEAVERS ONCE THEY ARE IN THE LABOUR MARKET.
THOSE YOUNG SCHOOL LEAVERS WHO ARE ABLE TO OBTAIN JOBS ARE
INCREASINGLY FINDING THEMSELVES IN WHAT IS COMMONLY KNOWN AS
THE " SECONDARY" LABOUR MARKET THAT IS, IN LOW-PAID,
UNSKILLED, OFTEN CASUAL WORK, OFFERING FEW PROSPECTS FOR
SKILL ACQUISITION OR LONG-TERM CAREER ADVANCEMENT.
AT THE PRESENT TIME THERE ARE IN AUSTRALIA JUST OVER 2.6
MILLION YOUNG PEOPLE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 15 AND 24 YEARS OF.
AGE. CLOSE TO 60 PER CENT OR 1.5 MILLION OF THEM ARE EMPLOYED.
MORE THAN HALF A MILLION YOUNG PEOPLE ARE NOT IN THE LABOUR
FORCE AND ARE PURSUING FULL-TIME EDUCATION. THAT LEFT, AT
JUNE THIS YEAR, ANOTHER-135,000 YOUNG MEN AND 95,000 YOUNG
WOMEN UNEMPLOYED AND SEEKING FULL-TIME WORK ACCORDING TO THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS, AND 40,000 YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN WERE
UNEMPLOYED AND LOOKING FOR PART-TIME WORK.
THESE RAW FIGURES AND LABOUR MARKET CHANGES DO NOT REVEAL
WHAT YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT MEANS IN TERMS OF THE LOSS OF HUMAN
DIGNITY AND SELF RESPECT OR WHAT IT MEANS IN TERMS OF THE
BREAKUP OF FAMILIES AND SOCIAL ALIENATION OF A LARGE NUMBER
OF THE BEST AND PROUDEST GENERATION WE HAVE EVER PRODUCED
OR WHAT IT MEANS IN TERMS OF THE DEFEAT OF HUMAN HOPE AND
THE DEFEAT OF HUMAN SPIRIT. YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IS THE NEW
POVERTY WITHIN OUR MIDST AND WE AS YOUR GOVERNMENT ARE
DETERMINED TO REDRESS THIS LAMENTABLE SITUATION.
GIVEN THE CHANGES AND THE PROBLEMS CONFRONTING YOUTH THE
GOVERNMENT DECIDED ON AN INTEGRATED APPROACH PRIORITY ONE.
THE GOVERNMENT IS ACUTELY AWARE THAT THE RATE OF
UNEMPLOYMENT AMONGST PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT COMPLETED SECONDARY
SCHOOL OR GAINED ANY POST-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION IS TWICE AS
HIGH AS THAT AMONGST THOSE WHO HAVE BETTER EDUCATIONAL
ACHIEVEMENTS. WE BELIEVE THAT EDUCATION AND TRAINING ARE
THE KEYS TO BROADENING LABOUR MARKET PROSPECTS AND
INCREASING THE EARNING CAPACITY OF INDIVIDUALS, AND ARE THE
SUREST WAY OF PROVIDING IMPROVED ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT
OPPORTUNITIES. AS I ASSUME YOU ALL KNOW BY NOW, THE GOVERNMENT'S PRIORITY
ONE YOUNG AUSTRALIA RESPONSE IS BASED ON THE ARGUMENT THAT:
EDUCATION MUST CONTINUE AS A WORTHWHILE AND USEFUL
OPTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. IT MUST ALSO BE MADE MORE
RELEVANT TO THE LARGE NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WILL
NOT BE GOING INTO ACADEMIA BUT WILL NEED TO BE HIGHLY
SKILLED AND CAPABLE OF PLAYING VITAL ROLES IN OUR
DEVELOPING AND CHANGING ECONOMY.
EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING MUST BE STRUCTURALLY COMBINED SO
THAT YOUNG PEOPLE CAN ADEQUATELY MAKE OR BEGIN TO MAKE A
SMOOTH TRANSITION INTO THE WORLD OF WORK AND M4AKE
SENSIBLE CHOICES FOR THEIR SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM
CAREERS.

INCOME SUPPORT SCHEMES SHOULD BE IMPROVED AND
RATIONALISED SO THAT THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE
DISADVANTAGED AND, AS A RESULT, HAVE THEIR RANGE OF
OPTIONS CONSTRAINED, SHOULD HAVE MORE EQUITABLE
OPPORTUNITIES, AND
SINCE ALMOST INEVITABLY THERE WILL BE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO
ARE LEFT UNEMPLOYED, UNSUPPORTED AND LACKING IN LIFE
SKILLS, THERE SHOULD BE PROVISIONS WHICH ASSIST LOCAL
COMMUNITY EFFORT TO HELP THESE YOUNG PEOPLE TO THE POINT
WHERE THEY TOO CAN REALISE THEIR POTENTIAL.
I AlM SURE THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF OUR COMMITMENT TO DEVELOPING
AN AUSTRALIAN TRAINEESHIP SYSTEM AS A MAJOR FORM OF
VOCATIONAL TRAINING FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, WHO, FOR WHATEVER
REASON, HAVE NOT COMPLETED THEIR SECONDARY SCHOOLING, OR
PROCEEDED TO HIGHER EDUCATION, OR GONE INTO A TECHNICAL OR
TRADE TRAINING POSITION.-
THE OBJECTIVE FOR THIS FINANCIAL YEAR IS TO GENERATE 10,000
TRAINEESHIPS, WITH PLANS FOR A PROGRESSIVE EXPANSION TO
REACHING AN INTAKE LEVEL OF 75,000 IN THE YEAR 1988-89. WE
WILL BE LOOKING TO DEVELOP UP TO 20 PER CENT OF INITIAL
TRAINEESHIP POSITIONS IN OUR OWN FIELDS OF EMPLOYMENT.
TRAINEESHIPS ARE A SUBSTANTIAL GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT TO
NOTHING LESS THAN A RADICAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE EXISTING
AVENUES OF TRANSITION FROM SCHOOL TO WORK.
THE GOVERNMENT ALSO RECENTLY ANNOUNCED ITS INTENTION TO
SUBSTANITALLY UPGRADE THE COMMUNITY YOUTH SUPPORT SCHEME
( CYSS) A SCHEME IN WHICH MANY ROTARIANS HAVE M4ADE SUCH AN
INVALUABLE CONTRIBUTION. WE WILL SPEND $ 32 MILLION ON THIS
SCHEME IN 1985-86, AN INCREASE OF 23 PER CENT OVER 1984-85.
IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 85,000 UNEMPLOYED YOUNG PEOPLE WILL BE
ASSISTED UNDER THE PROGRAM IN 1985-86. THIS UPGRADING OF
CYSS REPRESENTS AN IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF THE GOVERNMENT'S
" PRIORITY ONE" POLICY STRATEGY, WHICH IS DIRECTED AT
IMPROVING THE LABOUR MARKET PROSPECTS OF-YOUNG'PEOPLE. IN
ADDITION THE GOVERNMENT WILL INCREASE FUNDING FOR YOUTH
EMPLOYMENT PROJECTS UNDER ITS COMMUNITY YOUTH SPECIAL
PROJECTS PROGRAM ( CYSP) BY 58 PER CENT DURING 1985-86.
THE SUCCESS OF THESE PROJECTS IN GETTING YOUNG PEOPLE BACK
INTO EMPLOYMENT OR FURTHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING IS A
TRIBUTE TO THE DEDICATION OF THEIR SPONSOR ORGANISATIONS AND
LOCAL COMMUNITIES, INCLUDING LOCAL EMPLOYERS, MANY OF WHOM
ARE ACTIVE IN ROTARY CLUBS THROUGHOUT AUSTRLIA.
HOWEVER THE MAGNITUDE OF THE YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT PROBLEM AND
THE CHANGES CONFRONTING YOUNG AUSTRALIANS ARE SUCH THAT THEY
WILL NOT BE FULLY OVERCOME UNLESS EMPLOYERS, UNIONS,
GOVERNMENTS, TRAINING ORGANISATIONS AND THE COMMUNITY, ALL
CONTINUE TO WORK TOGETHER IN A CONSTRUCTIVE MANNER. IN
THESE TIMES OF RAPID CHANGE, WE MUST ALL SHARE THE
RESPONSIBILITY TO GENERATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH. I
BELIEVE THAT ROTARY HAS ALWAYS DEMONSTRATED A COMMITMENT TO
YOUTH AS PART OF ITS BROADER COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY
SERVICE, AND IN THIS RESPECT I BELIEVE THAT ROTARY IS " AHEAD
OF THE FIELD" IN TERMS OF RESPONDING TO THIS CHALLENGE OF
CHANGE.

THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME TO ADDRESS YOUR COUNCIL
CONFERENCE, AND FOR YOUR HOSPITALITY. I CONGRATULATE YOUR
ORGANISATION FOR THE GOOD WORK SO MANY OF YOU ARE DOING
WITHIN YOUR SPHERE OF INFLUENCE, AND I WISH YOU WELL WITH
THE REMAINDER OF YOUR CONFERENCE AND IN YOUR FUTURE
ENDEAVOURS.

Transcript 6778