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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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Do waiting periods for income support improve employment outcomes? Lessons from Belgium

Since 2013 the Government has sought to introduce a four-week waiting period for the most work-ready new claimants of Youth Allowance (Other) and Special Benefit who are aged under 25 years. During this waiting period, new claimants would be required to undertake a number of job search activities in order to qualify for income support after their waiting period has been served. The stated objective of the waiting period measure is to ‘set the clear expectation that young people must make every effort to maximise their chances of successfully obtaining work’. There are very few international examples of up-front waiting periods for income support. If there could be said to be a &... Read more...

Youth unemployment rates in small geographic areas - 2013

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recently changed the dissemination of regional data from the monthly Labour Force Survey to reflect a new geographic standard. The Labour Force Survey is a key source of data on employment, unemployment, the labour force and associated rates and ratios.  Read more...

Staying on at school is not just a matter of money

  There is considerable evidence about the correlation between socio-economic status (SES)–particularly parental income, education and occupation–and educational attainment. Hence the inclusion of a measure of SES on the Myschool website, which allows for the comparison of ‘SES-equivalent’ schools, and higher education institutions receiving funding on the basis of meeting targets for the representation of students from low SES backgrounds. While traditional SES measures may allow for comparisons or targets, they provide little guidance to policy makers on how to overcome such disadvantage–it is generally not possible to change the education level of a student’s parent for example. However... Read more...

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Indigenous federal voting rights

It is 100 years since the right and responsibility to enrol to vote became enshrined in Australian law and 50 years since all Indigenous Australians became entitled to vote in federal elections. (Some, but not all, adult Indigenous Australians, were able to vote prior to 1962.) Celebrations are in order.  In March 1962 the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 was amended to enable Indigenous people to enrol to vote in federal elections, but it was not compulsory for them to enrol. It was made an offence for anyone to use undue influence or pressure to induce them to enrol. Once they enrolled, however, voting was compulsory. The story of Indigenous enfranchisement is a long and complex one. There ... Read more...

Citizenship's crucible: too cool for comfort

Who is responsible for developing the civic capacities and political knowledge of our young people? Most people would probably consider it the responsibility of schools to impart relevant citizenship skills and dispositions. Certainly the development of active and informed citizens is a core element of the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. The Declaration was adopted in 2008 by all state, territory and Commonwealth education ministers meeting as the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs. The Declaration provides the framework within which education authorities and schools construct their policies, programs and curricu... Read more...

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