Focus on Employment for Marginalised Youth
5 August 2013 at 10:49 am
Peak NSW body for youth homelessness, Yfoundations has called on business leaders, policy makers, NGOs and educators to join forces to discuss solutions and strategies to increase the employment of marginalised youth.
Yfoundations says the upcoming Investing In Youth Employment Conference will be a place to formulate policy improvements and take practical action to increase employment for marginalised youth and to ensure youth employment remains high on the national agenda.
Yfoundations CEO Michael Coffey said early investment in young people and their career pathways was the best way to prevent future unemployment and future disadvantage.
“It’s like insurance against a cycle of homelessness that unfortunately follows some people into adulthood,” he said.
Researcher Dr Lucas Walsh, Associate Dean at Monash University and Senior Research Fellow at the Foundation for Young Australians, said it was important to keep a check on whether society was providing young people with the appropriate skills and competencies for the 21st century labour force.
“Part of the solution is helping employers engage marginalised youth,” he said.
“Many employers are willing to give young people a go because they see that first job as an important step in life and know that young people add vibrancy and new ideas and thinking to organisations."
Beacon Foundation CEO Scott Harris said after dealing directly with employers, he found some initially reluctant to take on young people.
“But when you go and talk to them and say, ‘Do you remember your first job?’, they will say, ‘Oh yeah, I remember someone taking a punt on me and giving me a chance.’”
“This reflection encourages them to give a start in life to today’s young jobseekers.
“Many of these young people do not have the networks or the opportunities that we have all had.
“From our perspective, we are seeing huge changes in the attitude of the young person from the dignity and self respect that comes from getting a real job.”
The Investing In Youth Employment Conference aims to ensure that the employment of marginalised young people stays on the agenda.
The conference will be held over two days on September 19-20.
For more information visit Yfoundations.