As a young Australian in the Entrepreneurship Community I am not the only person who has noticed the structural unemployment crisis disproportionately effecting our younger generation. The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has had a scary impact upon job prospects, as globally 1 in 6 people under the age of 30 are now unemployed. In places, such as Cairns youth unemployment has now reached 88 percent.
The Abbott Government has now acknowledged at various levels the critical nature of youth unemployment, and through the recommendations of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit held in Sydney, it has also been acknowledged by Government that Entrepreneurship and job creation strategies are a viable and immediate solution that must be prioritised. To that end, the Government recently announced a $200 million tax break for employee share schemes, an investment of $188.5 million into innovation centres and amendments to the 457 visa programme, as part of a $400 million industry plan.
The 'National Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda' aims to foster the creation of more entrepreneurs in Australia, and drive economic growth and employment in five industries: food and agribusiness; mining equiptment and services; oil, gas and energy; media technology and pharmaceuticals; and advanced manufacturing. Each of the five industry-led centres will receive funding of up to A$3.5 million per year, and be required to establish a plan to become self-sustaining after four years. Grants of up to A$1 million will also be on offer for the commercialisation of ideas.
The priorities in this agenda are very closely aligned to the recommendations of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit presented to G20 leaders and central bank governors, and to many local Australian federal members over the past 2 years. It is extremely encouraging to see the Australian Government listen to the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance and take tangible action in support of the importance of entrepreneurs and startups to the Australian economy.