The peak body for unions in NSW is calling on Malcolm Turnbull to immediately drop his half-baked PaTH interns program in light of revelations it breaches Australia’s minimum wage standards.

Reports this morning show the PaTH program, (Prepare, Trial, Hire) which proposes to pay under 25-year-old jobseekers a $200-a-fortnight top-up over and above the dole, would leave vulnerable interns languishing below the legally enforceable minimum wage and potentially able to sue for recovery of unpaid wages.

“Malcolm Turnbull and his mates may have no respect for it, but Australia’s minimum wage exists for a reason,” Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey said.

“The whole point is that people can’t be employed on less than it takes to support themselves in society. The Liberals’ PaTH interns program completely undermines that fundamental principle.

“Everyone agrees that we need to take action on youth unemployment. But only Malcolm Turnbull and his mates could come up with an approach that pays employers $1000 from the taxpayer’s pocket for the right to pay interns $4-an-hour.

“If the Liberals were serious about fixing youth unemployment we would see far greater investment in apprenticeships, TAFE, and education more broadly.

“Malcolm Turnbull should admit he got this wrong and drop this disastrously half-baked policy thought bubble.”

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