Call to Give Young Aussie Workers a Chance
25 November 2013 at 9:46 am
Australia’s peak youth affairs body, Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, has called on employers to open up the job market to young people after new research revealed many Australians were overworked and many young people were “underemployed” or unemployed.
The research by The Australia Institute (TAI) indicated younger workers were twice as likely to seek more hours of work than workers in other age groups, with more than half of those aged 17-24 indicating that they wanted more work (53 per cent).
Executive Director of the AYAC, Gabi Rosenstreich, said young people were working hard to break into the employment market, but too many were being left out in the cold by a culture that overworked and stressed current employees rather than looking at ways to spread the load more effectively.
“It makes no sense that we have a workforce that is struggling more and more with unreasonable – and unhealthy – expectations on staff well outside their paid hours, while many young people are struggling to get a foothold in the labour market. Not employing more staff is a false economy and leads to lower productivity,” she said.
The TAI report, Hard to Get a Break?, indicated that more than half of all young people out of the workforce said that this was because they could not find a job.
The research findings accorded with the recent YAC research that shows youth unemployment as one of the issues that mattered most to young Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC).
“Many young people are only able to enter the workforce through casual employment, often with few hours at low wages and little potential to develop the skills and experience that will enable them to gain a foothold in the labour market and build futures for themselves and their communities,” Rosenstreich said.
“Many young people in employment feel under enormous pressure and too often don’t stick up for their rights in the workplace.”
Hard to Get a Break showed that younger workers were more than twice as likely to say that it’s their “workplace culture” to skip their lunch break (29 per cent of 17-24-year-olds, compared with the average 12 per cent across all age groups).
Findings also revealed that 50 per cent of 17-24-year-olds did not take their annual paid leave last year.