01 June 2017

The Turnbull Governments warped definition of an intern is now coming to life.
At Senate Estimates this week the government confirmed Youth Jobs PaTH interns are completing subsidised work in a range of entry level occupations across the nation:
But the activities to date that interns are participating in include: customer service, selling and preparing goods for sale, selling and serving food, cleaning, baking, reception duties and mechanical at repairsso quite a range.
Renee Leon, Secretary, Department of Employment, 29 May 2017
So, under the Turnbull Government, well have intern cleaners, intern receptionists, intern sandwich makers and intern mechanics.
The Labor Opposition has repeatedly voiced concerns that entry level jobs would be bumped out by government-subsidised interns in this program. Now its happening.
Even if interns get a job after their period of free service, the 12 weeks where an employee would have been paid wages is taken out of the entry level jobs market.
The Turnbull Government has repeatedly said it will have systems in place to keep a close eye on what business are doing and to stop rorting of the system.
But startlingly, the Turnbull Government admits it isnt tracking what size businesses are taking on government subsidised interns.
Asked whether businesses enrolling in the program were large or small the answer wasnt forthcoming:
I will have to take that on notice.
Renee Leon, Secretary, Department of Employment, 29 May 2017
The issue came up a second time when it was revealed one business has already taken on seven interns. The Department was asked whether it was a large or small business and the answer revealed the governments inadequate tracking of potential churn or exploitation:
We actually do not have information on the size of the business.
Kellie Hippit, Branch Manager, Youth and Programs,
Department of Employment, 29 May 2017
Months later, when the government provides an answer to those questions, a large company could have churned through any number interns and received taxpayer subsidies to do so.
Senate Estimates also confirmed the Turnbull Government has a long way to go to meet its goal of 30,000 participants a year.
Since the program was launched on 1 April only 185 internships have started.
They needed 5,000 interns in two months to hit their mark of 30,000 interns per year.
The Turnbull Government has previously said they needed 18,000-20,000 businesses a year to reach their goal.
So far only 128 businesses have signed on to the program a long way short of the 3,000 they needed after two months to be on track.
Turnbull Government hasnt shown how participants in Youth Jobs PaTH will be safe from exploitation or churn, that wages wont be displaced and that they have any chance of reaching 120,000 participants in four years.