I had a Hofner Contemporary "Beatles" bass for a while (intermediate model, up one from the Ignition) which was super-lightweight and with the shorter scale, and have played with the Epiphone equivalent only in a store. My Hofner was a great bass, and if he likes it / is comfortable with it (weight, feel, neck-dive, etc.) then go for it.
Alternatively, the Bronco (mentioned above) and Squier Jaguar short scale are both surprisingly awesome given the price-point. I still have a Squier Jag SS; apart from replacing the strings with some flats, it's "as it came in the box", cost me all of $250 AUD (they're even cheaper in the US) and it's great fun to play, sounds great, holds its tuning, and has plenty of tonality options (two pickups, rather than the Bronco's one).
Good luck! :-)