Employment for Disadvantaged Youth on The Table
16 September 2013 at 11:06 am
Not for Profits, business leaders, government decision-makers and education providers will meet in Sydney to discuss solutions and strategies to increase youth employment – especially for disadvantaged youth.
Investing in Youth Employment Conference will run from September 19-20 and will include guest speakers and two youth panels who will give their opinions and advice on employment issues.
Michael Coffey, the CEO of the peak body for youth homelessness sector in NSW – Yfoundations, said “youth unemployment is a complex and stubborn problem, which cannot be solved by simplistic interventions”.
“If young people don’t get the experiences and exposure they need early on, they are statistically more likely to remain in unstable, low paid employment for the rest of their lives,” he said.
“That’s not good for the young people, and it’s not good for our economy.”
One speaker will be Business Council of Australia (BCA) Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott who will talk about the BCA’s work to bring together economic and social policy so that groups of Australians don’t get left behind.
“In developing our Action Plan for Enduring Prosperity the BCA felt that we needed to re-prosecute the case that without economic growth Australia will not be able to solve many of the social problems that our society faces, in particular unemployment,” Westacott said.
“One of the aspirations we spell out in the plan is for Australia to have the most skilled and educated workers in the world. We’ve set out actions to equip all Australians with the right skills and education to boost participation, create more productive and innovative workplaces and foster better relationships between employers and employees.”
Another speaker at the conference is Employment and Social Policy Consultant Toni Wren who believes it’s important to understand one of the main causes of rising youth unemployment is the loss of full-time jobs for young people due to structural changes in the labour market over the past 20 years.
“In 1990, two-thirds of teenagers who had left full-time education held a full-time job. Now, less than half do,” Wren said.
“We can’t bring those jobs back but we need to better equip our young people for the jobs that are available now and in the future. That means more effective education and training opportunities and support for those who are at risk of dropping out.
“Solutions are needed. One of them might be found in a better understanding of the corporate sector’s needs and the implementation of the corresponding training to work transitions for young people.
“Smart strategies are needed to keep young people in school but also to re-engage in education those who have left prematurely so they can gain the skills they need for the jobs that are available.
“I believe that system needs to be more demand-led. That means starting with employers and working backwards to develop a pipeline of qualified job seekers.”
For more information on the conference, visit www.etouches.com/yfoundations.