Young Adults Continue to be Vulnerable in Troubled Economic Times - NFP Report
29 November 2011 at 9:29 am
More than one quarter of all long-term unemployed Australians are now aged 15 to 24, according to a new report by the Foundation for Young Australians.
The report says that since 2008, the percentage of young Australians without a job for a year or longer has almost doubled.
It says despite Australia’s relative economic buoyancy, teenagers in Australia have higher rates of long-term unemployment than in many other OECD countries.
Now in its thirteenth year, the HYPAF report, prepared by Lyn Robinson, Mike Long and Stephen Lamb from the Centre for Research on Education Systems at the University of Melbourne, shows two significant long-term trends:
-The stability of working life for young people has steadily decreased
-Australia’s economic prosperity is consistently not being passed on to many young people.
FYA’s CEO, Jan Owen says this year’s report shows a disturbing trend that the warning signs are not being heeded.
“It is clear from HYPAF 2011 that young adults are more vulnerable than the rest of the population to economic instability. They are suffering from the decline in full-time job prospects and the move to more flexible working arrangements,” said Owen.
“While there are some positive developments in young people’s participation in learning and earning, we need to pay attention to the warning signs that highlight how vulnerable young people continue to be in these troubled economic times.”
Dr Lucas Walsh, FYA’s Director of Research and Evaluation, says that the overriding dilemma is the pronounced and ongoing economic vulnerability of Australia’s young people.
He says that young people are the first to be disadvantaged by an economic downturn, and among the last to recover.
“The percentage of school leavers who are not studying or working is as high as it was during the recession of the early 1990s – this is an important warning sign for us,” said Dr Walsh.
“We need to continue to focus on educational attainment, as well as developing effective interventions to improve student engagement. At the same time, we need to strengthen transition pathways, including VET in schools, and provide support for re-engagement and recovery, especially for those who are being left behind.”
“For FYA, a key part of this is finding innovative ways of developing skills and literacies that improve young people’s capacity and resilience as they navigate changing worlds of work in volatile times,” said Jan Owen.
“We must take action to ensure that Australia’s prosperity is passed on to our young people. They deserve stable employment and access to a prosperous future.”
The report can be downloaded at http://www.fya.org.au/research/how-young-people-are-faring-2011/