The failure of the Turnbull Government to address unemployment has been exposed in ABS figures released today showing nearly three quarters of a million people remain out of work. Part time work continues to displace full time work. Youth unemployment is still in double digits.

Today’s job figures show that unemployment has remained at 5.7% for another month. Full time employment fell 9,300 and part time employment increased 20,200, seasonally adjusted.

Added to wage growth numbers released yesterday showing that the wage costs to employers are at their lowest point in 18 years, a full picture of what life is like for working people under the Turnbull Government starts to emerge.

Unions know that right now any job is hard to find, full time jobs even more so, and too many young people are falling through the cracks and failing to get good quality jobs.

This is why we have been campaigning for the government to put back the billion dollars it cut from apprenticeships, and the $250 million it has cut from the Industry Skills Fund – cuts that have reduced the number of people in apprenticeships by more than 120,000 since 2013.

People right across Australia want to improve their skills so that they can better jobs. But they have to struggle against a government that has gutted TAFE and skills training, and then has the audacity to demonise people who are forced onto welfare programs.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:

“Today we are seeing yet more evidence of the damage being done to our employment market by a government with no plan for jobs and no vision for the future of the Australian economy.”

“The easy solution to high unemployment for this government is to reverse the disastrous cuts it has made to higher education and skills training.”

“If this is what Mr Turnbull’s knowledge economy looks like – stagnant wages, stagnant unemployment, youth unemployment in double digits and nowhere for young people to get the skills they need to get a real job – then Australia desperately needs a better plan.”

“We need a jobs plan that invests in real job creation in key industries including renewable energy, in public sector jobs, in technology and research, in education, skills and on the job training. These are all areas this government has cut funding and support”

“We must not accept the casualisation of work as inevitable. We need real jobs, not a system that makes everyone a contractor, battling from one invoice to the next.”