Over the next two years, $65 million will be spent helping young NEETS (not in employment, education or training) to find and maintain a job. Some of the 'life skills' will include getting to work on time and polite communication.
That is according to skills minister John Barilaro, who added that some NEETs on welfare are unable to afford the clothes, tools and transport necessary for work. He also flagged the importance of respect for colleagues and following instructions.
"I’ve heard stories that some young people don’t go to a job interview because they don’t have a washing machine at home to wash their clothes,’" said Barilaro.
"Education is the key to getting out of the welfare rut.
"But you cannot underestimate or undervalue the importance of things like being on time."
Commencing in 2017 as part of the Smart, Skilled and Hired program, the scheme will advise 11,444 NSW residents between the ages of 15 and 24, at an average cost of $5,679 each.
The money will assist charities and employment agencies in getting young people ready for employment through training in literacy and numeracy. There will also be counselling, careers advice and what is described as "productivity bootcamps". The money may also pay for clothes, shoes, tools, travel and accommodation, reducing the circumstances in which NEETs will decline a job.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development warns that Australia has 580,000 NEETs, of which 40 per cent reportedly do not want to work.
“The greatest threat to and handbrake on the economy in NSW as we build roads and infrastructure is a lack of skills,’’ Barilaro added.
“It is affecting construction, the building of hospitals, hospitality and tourism, and we have a shortage looming in the health and disability sectors."
Teenagers and young adults are to receive remedial life lessons to help them make the transition to the workplace and secure employment as part of a taxpayer-funded program, described as a 'boot camp', to be implemented by the state government.