Youth Projects says young people in the Broadmeadows region will suffer under harsh changes to welfare payments under the federal budget.
The organisation says the region with the highest rate of youth unemployment in the country has received no help, only pain, in this budget.
Youth Projects estimates 60% of its total caseload, over 550 young people, will be left without support using the rules announced in the budget.
The organisation's CEO, Melanie Raymond, says the new six month delay in eligibility for Newstart allowance for the newly unemployed could tip more young people into homelessness and will certainly make job search even harder.
From 1 January the age of eligibility for Newstart Allowance and Sickness Allowance will increase from 22 to 24 years of age. And those under 30 will have to wait six months without support before they can receive assistance.
"The government has no answer as to how young people leaving school who cannot find work will survive in this period".
"This is the worst start in life, pushing more young people in this area into poverty".
The realities at present are that in the Calder region young people leave school earlier, have fewer qualifications and enter a stagnant job market where there are many more job seekers than job vacancies.
• Coolaroo and Craigieburn have the highest rates of youth unemployment in Victoria at over 30%.
• 56% of our young clients have Year 10 and
• 12 % have only primary school or below Year 10 schooling
• at least 1/4 of clients are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
• (The 2006 census recorded 560 homeless persons in Hume; by 2011, there had been a 55% increase to 867)
• there is a close link between family violence and unemployment in this area: Hume had the third-highest rate of family violence reports in Victoria. In 2011-12, it had the highest number of reported incidents in the northern metropolitan region, with 20 per cent of female victims aged 18-24)
"Our clients already face strictly monitored job search requirements, but this has not and will not create jobs out of nowhere.
Young people continue to be last on and first off, and will continue to bear a much higher burden of economic recession than other groups in this community."
Ms Raymond says Youth Projects has been working with local employers to demonstrate the benefits of employing local young people who are job ready with great success. Closer relationships with business is our best strategy where we can prepare job seekers with the skills in demand.
"Otherwise many young people are facing a bleak future and this community will need to rally around to create something better than the government has offered us"
CEO, Youth Projects.