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Friday 6th May 2012 with Fran Kelly on Radio National Breakfast

The Federal Government says there will be a strong focus on skills in next week's budget and the skills sector is hoping for increased funding for education and training.

The latest data shows unemployment is on the rise, and Australia now has the highest level of youth unemployment since 2001. Malcolm Turnbull calls it the result of Labor's "terrible trifecta".

There has been plenty of speculation about what the next government stimulus package might include, and industry groups say they hope it will include money for training programs. Yesterday, chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, Heather Ridout, said that money is needed to keep apprentices in training and apprentices themselves say they are desperate for support.

Unemployment figures for the month of September are due out today, and most economists expect an increase in unemployment with a drop of 10,000 full-time jobs. The youth unemployment figures are a continuing headache for the government. Since the start of the year, the unemployment rate for those between the ages of 15 and 19 has increased sharply. Currently it's sitting at 17.2%, up from 12% eighteen months ago, and there are concerns it could take years for the numbers to decline.