SYDNEY — Young Australians will have access to loans to enable them to spend a year working on innovative business ideas, under a Labor government.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese will reveal in his budget reply speech, to be delivered to parliament on May 13 night, the concept of a Startup Year.
It will offer 2000 students the opportunity to be mentored by innovative universities and private-sector incubators to turn their ideas into future businesses.
Startups have been shown to be strong job creators.
“This policy harnesses the ideas and energy of young Australians and focuses on the huge potential our younger generations have to lead us into the future,” Labor’s innovation spokesman Ed Husic said.
“We need to inspire and empower an ever-greater diversity of communities and individuals to build great Australian companies that become world-leading in emerging global markets.”
The Startup Year loans will be delivered through the existing HELP system.
The loans are designed to help cover costs associated with participation in accredited accelerator programs, up to the band three maximum annual student contribution level under the Higher Education Contribution Scheme system, currently AU$ 11,300 ($8,712.53).
Data from the Australian Department of Industry shows new firms create substantially more net new jobs than established ones.
Firms up to three years old created 1.44 million jobs over the six years to 2011, compared with a net loss of 400,000 jobs by established firms over the same period.
“It is Australian startups in areas like manufacturing, medicine, IT and clean energy that will build the Australian industries of tomorrow whilst also solving some of our toughest domestic and global challenges,” Albanese said.
Labor is seeking to differentiate itself from the coalition by finding ways to boost productivity to lift wages and create jobs.
Politician Patrick Gorman tweeted “Startup Year would offer 2000 students mentoring by universities and private-sector incubators to get their business ideas off the ground.”
The Morrison government’s budget delivered on Tuesday forecast a real wage cut for the next two financial years, before inflation and pay growth reach parity in 2022/23 and 2023/24.
The Labor party tweeted “Labor’s Startup Year will mentor 2,000 young innovators to start a business straight out of uni. We are backing the ideas of young Australians to create new businesses and new jobs. Because we’re on your side.”
However, it is banking on a multi-billion-dollar spend on tax cuts, training and infrastructure to boost the economy.
(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Praveen Pramod Tewari)
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