The concept of social inclusion in essence means replacing a welfarist approach to helping the underprivileged with one of investing in them and their communities to bring them into the mainstream market economy. It’s a modern and fresh approach that views everyone as a potential wealth creator and invests in their human capital. My reason for adopting such an approach is simple: at a time when Australia needs more skilled people and has an ageing population, we simply can’t afford to have one in ten or more of our people out of the workforce due to unemployment, low skills or the effects of chronic poverty. Social inclusion is an economic imperative.

Julia Gillard
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