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Transport A Key Barrier for Young Unemployed


Tuesday, 22nd November 2016 at 2:28 pm
Wendy Williams
Young unemployed Australians are facing serious transport challenges in the hunt for work, according to a new report from the Brotherhood of St Laurence.


Tuesday, 22nd November 2016
at 2:28 pm
Wendy Williams


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Transport A Key Barrier for Young Unemployed
Tuesday, 22nd November 2016 at 2:28 pm

Young unemployed Australians are facing serious transport challenges in the hunt for work, according to a new report from the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

The latest figures from the national welfare group’s data analysis found a quarter of young jobseekers aged 15 to 24 said transport issues were a key barrier for not being able to find employment.

According to the report, U-Turn: The Transport Woes of Australia’s Young Jobseekers, youth unemployment is concentrated in the nation’s regional areas and fast-growing outer suburbs where public transport options are constrained.

Meanwhile a total of 61 per cent of unemployed under 25s lack a driver’s licence.

Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Tony Nicholson said the big picture remained troubling.

“Youth unemployment in Australia is concentrated in fast-growing outer suburbs of our major cities and in regional areas where public transport options are notoriously limited,” Nicholson said.

“Our data analysis points to what young people living in these youth unemployment hotspots on the outskirts of our cities and in regions repeatedly tell us: lack of accessible transport to connect them to the available jobs and job interviews poses a worrying impediment to their job search.’’

To gain insights into the barriers faced by unemployed youth, the not-for-profit organisation drew on data from the Household Labour Income and Family Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey of more than 13,000 people.

As part of the survey, participants were asked about their perceptions of the reasons for not being able to find work.

Among young people the four main factors were:

  • lack of work experience
  • lack of education and training
  • many applicants for jobs
  • transport.

According to the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s latest report, young people tend to have lower incomes and fewer assets, which is likely to make them sensitive to rises in transport costs.

“This is particularly true for young jobseekers who find work in low-paid and casual positions,” the report said.

It follows the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data which revealed there were 268,000 youth in the labour market unable to find work in October 2016.

After analysing the latest ABS data, the Brotherhood of St Laurence said youth unemployment among 15 to 24 year olds was 12.8 per cent, which sits much higher than the rates before the global financial crisis, which were below 9 per cent.

The Brotherhood also revealed that 15 to 24 year olds in the labour market were three times as likely to be unemployed as those aged 25 and over.

It comes as Alpha Cheng, whose father Curtis Cheng was fatally shot in Parramatta by a teenager radicalised by ISIS ideology, has joined the Brotherhood’s campaign for youth jobs.

He used the organisation’s Youth Unemployment Monitor to make a personal plea for a more inclusive Australia.


Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.


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