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How Young people Are Faring - Report

20 October 2008 at 4:57 pm
Staff Reporter
Major research shows one in five young Australians are not engaged in either full-time earning or learning.

Staff Reporter | 20 October 2008 at 4:57 pm


How Young people Are Faring - Report
20 October 2008 at 4:57 pm

Major research shows one in five young Australians are not engaged in either full-time earning or learning.

A major national research report has revealed that one in 10 teenagers (15-19 years) and one in five young adults (20-24 years) are not engaged in either full-time earning or learning. In light of the current financial climate, it also suggests that young people in particular may have tough times ahead.

The tenth annual How Young People are Faring report, commissioned by The Foundation for Young Australians, shows that early school leavers are at greater and ongoing risk of labour force marginalisation.

Importantly, these young people are still most likely to be from low socio-economic backgrounds and in regional and remote areas.

The report also shows:
• teenagers living in areas of high socio-economic status are twice as likely to be in full time education compared with those living in areas of social disadvantage;
• and almost every second 19 year old who lives in a major city is engaged in full-time education, compared with less than one in five in regional areas and barely one in 20 in remote areas.
The report raises doubts as to whether the Federal Government will be able to achieve its target of 90% year 12 completion rate by 2020.

Adam Smith, CEO, of The Foundation for Young Australians commends the Federal Government for its renewed commitment to youth transition, including the COAG agenda, and setting such bold targets for Year 12 or equivalent retention.

However, Smith says the report indicates that while there has just been a period of immense economic prosperity in Australia, things are not changing fast enough. In order to achieve its targets there needs to be nation wide improvement at double the rate measured between the 2001 and 2006 census.

He says the need to address this becomes all the more urgent when the last two economic slow downs hit those in transition the hardest.

The report suggests there has been insufficient full-time job growth in the youth labour market. This is based on the finding that full-time job opportunities for young people have not kept pace with full-time job growth for older Australians, despite economic growth.

Smith says the report very clearly shows a need for more attention to areas such as, the needs of young people who are living in remote areas, come from low socio-economic backgrounds, and finishing school early.

This report has been published annually by the Dusseldorp Skills Forum (DSF) for the past decade and beginning this year, The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) is taking over its creation and dissemination.

This report has been produced a joint collaboration between FYA, Education Foundation and DSF. It has been prepared by Stephen Lamb and Kate Mason, researchers in the Centre for Post-compulsory Education and Lifelong Learning (CPELL) at The University of Melbourne.

A copy of the report can be found at

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