NFP Peak Calls for Better Job Support for Youth
3 February 2014 at 10:35 am
Young people were hard hit by the Global Financial Crisis and are still finding it hard to secure work after leaving school, an employment peak body for Not for Profits says.
Jobs Australia has called for the Federal Government to continue to fund a specialised national youth transition service after the end of 2014 when current Youth Connections contracts cease.
The call was just one of the recommendations Jobs Australia made in its recent white paper, Jobs Australia Policy on Youth Transitions.
In the paper, Jobs Australia revealed that young people were hit particularly hard by the Global Financial Crisis, and were still finding it difficult to secure employment after leaving school.
While Australia’s overall unemployment rate was 5.8 per cent, the rate for young Australians was 12.3 per cent – and, in some disadvantaged labour markets such as Northern Adelaide, could reach as high as 19.9 per cent, Jobs Australia said.
The peak body said what was particularly concerning was the fact that the proportion of young people not fully engaged in work or study after leaving school had been rising in recent years.
“Young people who have left school or who are thinking of dropping out need a lot of intensive support to re-connect and achieve the level of education and skills they need to make successful transitions into work,” CEO of Jobs Australia, David Thompson, said.
“At the moment they get this type of support through the Youth Connections Programme, which is delivered by community organisations right across Australia. But, unfortunately, there is no commitment to fund the Programme beyond the end of 2014.
“For every young person who leaves school early and becomes unemployed, the Government receives less in taxation revenue while having to spend more on welfare and other services.
“With our ageing population, we simply can’t afford to leave young people without the support they need to get back into the education system or into a job.
“While there is a cost to the Government in investing to help young people re-engage with education and training, that cost is more than outweighed by the long term economic and social benefits.”
Thompson called on the Government to allocate funds to Youth Connections, or a similar program, in this year’s Federal Budget.
“It’s really important that the Commonwealth Government commits to continuing to provide support to young people who have left school early to re-engage with education and training after 2014. The type of services that Youth Connections provides will still be needed next year and for years to come,” he said.
“The journey from education to employment is a complicated one, and it is important that all young Australians have access to the services and support to make that journey successful. In the Lucky Country, it is the least we can do for them and for our future.”
Download the paper, here.