Forgive me for not going into detail about the differing laws for younger employees, I honestly assumed that yours worked the same way and we could just use the adult rates for comparisons without going into the complexities of different age groups and other special cases.
Are you telling me that you don't have different rates for younger workers in America?
I'm surprised. It seems very common sense. I think I fell victim to my cultural biases prejudicing my opinion.
Obviously my knowledge of Australia's economic policies is limited, but it is clear to me that these caveats in the laws play a large role in why it is so successful for your country. I'm interested to hear your insight on this.
I definitely agree that something like this is essential to making a minimum wage system work correctly. I definitely understand your concerns a lot more if you don't have anything like this.
We also have a million of other mechanisms built in. There are government subsidies provided to businesses who take on apprentices, tax-breaks to companies who hire the long-term unemployed and a comprehensive national job-seeking network.
You can receive unemployment benefits for your entire life here, at $497 a fortnight base rate (source
) it's enough to meet basic standard of living, although it is contingent on proving that you're applying to jobs and attending any offered interviews.
If you're unemployed and receiving benefits you're required to attend jobsearch meetings where a case manager helps you find work. They're given funds from the government that they can spend on providing you with training, interview clothes, transport, assistance moving closer to employment, whatever is required. That company then receives a massive bonus from the government when you start work and remain employed for 6 months or more. Whoever hires you is given a bonus as well.
When I was unemployed when I was younger, my jobsearching agency paid for me to attend a training course for a security license and also paid for the licensing fees etc. This got me employed for the next two years working in security and I only left that field due to an injury.
We don't have student loans. To pay for university we have HECS loans, which you don't need to pay back until you start earning over a particular threshold (Source
). You're also paid to attend university (Source
There is a lot of assistance to help people find work here, but there's also a lot of assistance for people who don't have work. I think it's a good system personally and it's hard not to feel patriotic pride about it.