People are outraged by the federal budget's internship program which pays $4 an hour (on top of existing payments)

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has announced a new internship scheme to get young people working.

From 1 April 2017, Youth Jobs PaTH will help people prepare for a job through “intensive pre-employment skills training” with Morrison calling it “real work for the dole”.

In his budget speech, Morrison said:

The first three weeks of training will focus on skills such as working in a team, presentation, and appropriate IT literacy. A further three weeks of training will centre on advanced job preparation and job hunting skills.

In stage two, the Government will introduce an internship programme with up to 120,000 placements over four years to help young job seekers who have been in employment services for six months or more to gain valuable work experience within a real business.

Job seekers and businesses, with the help of jobactive providers, will be able to work together to design an internship placement of 4 to 12 weeks duration, during which the job seeker will work 15 to 25 hours per week.

In addition to gaining valuable hands on experience in a workplace, job seekers will receive $200 per fortnight on top of their regular income support payment while participating in the internship. This is real work for the dole.

Businesses that take on interns will receive an upfront payment of $1,000, and will also benefit from the opportunity to see what a young worker can do and how they fit in to the team before deciding whether to offer them ongoing employment.

But the move has sparked criticism on Twitter with people saying that amounts to just $4 an hour with participants working 15 to 25 hours per week for $200 per fortnight.

Most of the commentary glosses over the fact that the $200 is top-up payment to existing income support measures, but here’s what people are saying on Twitter.

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