Have you ever wondered what the federal government is doing for young people? Do you wonder if they do anything at all? Well, earlier this year I contacted Malcom Turnbull, the Prime Minister of Australia, to find out what the Australian Government is doing for youth? Youth issues don’t seem to make it to the media very often, so we don’t see what the government is doing.
A few months after I contacted Mr Turnbull, I received a response in the mail which I found very surprising. The Prime Minster thanked me for contacting him and said he loves hearing about what is important to young Australians. He then wrote, “Our democracy rests on the idea that every individual counts and everyone can have his or her say on the issues that matter most to them.” This is very true and it’s great to hear it from the leader of our country.
Mr Turnbull wrote that youth issues cut across many aspects of Government including employment, health, social services and most importantly education. “Did you know that this financial year the Australian Government is spending nearly $38 billion dollars on education?” Malcolm Turnbull questioned. This funding is supporting schools, vocational education and training, and universities.
The Government is also providing $51 million dollars over four years under the National Innovation and Science Agenda to help make sure today’s young people have skills they need for the digital age. Another $5.1 million is going to pilot the P-TECH model in Australia. This is an innovative model of educational –industry collaboration that provides students studying for their Senior Secondary Certificate with an industry supported a pathway to a science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Mr Turnbull also wrote about the government wanting to help young people with the transition from school to further education or work. $3 million dollars has been committed over four years to develop the National Career Educational Strategy to make sure students are prepared for life after school and the jobs for the future. The Australian Government will also help up to 120,000 young people secure jobs with their $840-million-dollar Youth Employment Package.
The Australian Government is also interested in the health and wellbeing of young people. Mr Turnbull then said, “we (Australian Government) believe all students have the right to feel safe at school.” The Government has committed an extra $5 million to support young people and develop relationships between youth, teachers and parents.
Unfortunately, one in four young Australians experiences mental health issues, he informed me. “My Government is working hard to turn that around by developing e-mental health interventions and services as well as guaranteeing funding to youth mental health services through 110 headspace centres across the country. The headspace centres focus on youth mental health and related drug and alcohol problems through a network of youth-friendly primary health centres.”
Malcom Turnbull ended is letter by saying he had tried to convey a sense of the things the Australian Government are doing to help young Australians move confidently into the future. It was great to receive a reply from Malcom Turnbull and I would like to thank him for taking time to reply.
Let me know what you think of his letter, do you think the government is spending money in the right areas for young people.