Young People Facing ‘Intense’ Employment Pressure – Report
9 November 2015 at 10:02 am
Seven years after the Global Financial Crisis hit, the event is still creating havoc for young jobseekers, with teenage boys and young men who are in the labor market today more likely to be unemployed, according to a national welfare agency.
New data released by the Brotherhood of St Laurence has found that young men and women are facing different impacts from the GFC, with young women more likely to be underemployed, with some work but wanting more hours, and so are not even counted in the official unemployment rates published each month.
The Brotherhood’s executive director, Tony Nicholson, said the analysis – published on Monday – highlighted the different challenges the two sexes faced in an employment market that demanded more experience and skills than ever before from Australia’s emerging generation.
“Young people lacking experience must negotiate a modern economy that is rapidly shifting to a knowledge and service base, striving to be internationally competitive and demanding more than ever of all its employees – including its new entrants,” Nicholson said.
The report found that overall young jobseekers had been under “intense pressure” in their hunt for work.
As of August 2015, nearly 290,000 young people were entirely out of work across the nation. The figure is more than 50 per cent above, or 100,000 more people, than at the start of the GFC in 2008.
The Bortherhood analysed the Australian Bureau of Statistics trend data and found that at 14.6 per cent the unemployment rate for young men was 2 per cent higher than for young women.
Business leader, David Gonski, added his voice to the Brotherhood’s campaign for youth employment.
In a column written for the Brotherhood, Gonski looked back at the lives of his grandfather, who left school in his early teens, and his father, who was a brain surgeon, to reflect on how education and skills shape life chances.
“Being educationally disadvantaged for whatever reason – including lack of funds – doesn’t mean that one isn’t clever and able to do well at school and beyond,” Gonski said.
“This concept was the essential thrust of what our review of school funding … recommended should be the basis of funding of schools throughout Australia. We advocated strongly for a 'needs-based funding model', which put simply is a model that recognises that those facing educational disadvantage may require additional assistance.
“This idea has not fallen on deaf ears and is now the basis of most school funding systems within Australia.
“The problem, of course, is that to fully implement our recommendations and not take away money from other priorities, more money is needed. Each time I hear that point being made, however, I think: what if someone had used money to address the educational disadvantage of my grandfather? The result undoubtedly would have been an improvement in his life and, given his capabilities, an increase in his productivity, with benefits to his society generally.”