Keeping young people in education
This new participation requirement for FTB Part A supports the Australian Government’s determination to increase the number of young people with a Year 12 or equivalent qualification.
To be eligible to receive FTB Part A, young people between 16 and 20 must be studying full-time towards, or have completed, Year 12 or its equivalent (Certificate Level II).
The Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Participation Requirement) Bill 2009 implements an important element of the agreement reached at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting on 30 April 2009, and will apply from 1 January 2010 for new claimants and end-of-year lump sum claimants.
The evidence makes it clear that young people who leave school early are less likely to make the transition into employment or further education than those who complete Year 12.
We also know that people of working age who don’t reach Year 12 or an equivalent level of education are more likely to be unemployed.
And if they are working, they are less likely to earn as much as people with a higher education.
In times of economic downturn, early school leavers are at greater risk of disadvantage.
We want our young people to finish Year 12 or an equivalent to make sure they are given the best chances in life.
The change to the legislation complements the Compact with Young Australians also announced at COAG.
The Compact with Young Australians will guarantee an education or training place for all young Australians under 25 who are not in work or education.
This bill encourages young Australians to gain the skills and experience they need to move into work or further education.
Families who have already claimed payments by instalment for a period before 1 January 2010 will have the new rules applied from 1 May 2010.
Exemptions may be granted in special circumstances – for example, if there is no locally accessible approved course of education or study, or the young person lacks the capacity to study due to a physical, psychiatric, intellectual or learning disability.