01 Feb 2018

Malcolm Turnbull’s exploitative Youth PaTH program has yet again been exposed through the careless actions of recruitment company Budding Talents – an indirect recipient of thousands of dollars of bonuses under the government’s PaTH scheme.

It has been reported that recruitment company Budding Talents has allegedly found an exploitative loophole in the Government’s PaTH scheme, benefiting as a third party.

By sourcing unpaid interns to companies that are part of the PaTH scheme, they are then receiving the $1,000 government payment.

As reported, Budding Talents founder Ryan Shrestha said, “If the host employer wants to hire someone under PaTH, we as the broker help them source the right candidate. Whatever money they get as a benefit from the government they pay that fee to us.” 

The government needs to honestly come forward about its scandal-plagued PaTH program and tell Australians why they haven’t taken steps to protect young people who are already vulnerable to exploitation.

To add further insult to injury, interns recruited to Budding Talents could be paying up to $93 a day ($465 a week) for a four week ‘unpaid’ internship to a third party. This is clearly not an unpaid internship in the usual sense of the word – the difference is that the interns are paying a third party to take on weeks of work with no wages attached. This kind of practice goes to the heart of companies seeking to make a profit from some of the most vulnerable job seekers – unemployed students, recent graduates and migrant workers.

Budding Talents, which unluckily called the ACTU to advertise its services, has also admitted that about 65 per cent of the people who pay these large sums for this ‘experience’ don’t even ‘eventually’ receive job offers.

Today’s reports follow other worrying examples last year of similar exploitation through this same PaTH program - which Minister Cash was aware of. At the time, Senator Cash said these issues would be addressed, but has failed to penalise companies that had exploited young jobseekers.

This latest story adds to the mounting evidence the Government’s Youth PaTH Program is failing and increasingly exposes young people to workplace exploitation.

The public deserve to know why the government has broken its worthless promises to protect young jobseekers and ensure appropriate use of the millions of dollars it has invested into this scheme. 


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