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Young Aussies struggling to find work

9 December 2019 at 4:59 pm
Luke Michael
New research shows nearly one in five unemployed young people have been out of work for more than a year

Luke Michael | 9 December 2019 at 4:59 pm


Young Aussies struggling to find work
9 December 2019 at 4:59 pm

New research shows nearly one in five unemployed young people have been out of work for more than a year

Young people are twice as likely to experience long-term unemployment compared to a decade ago, a new report says.

Research from the Brotherhood of St Laurence found that one in five Australian jobseekers (46,000 people) aged 15 to 24 have experienced unemployment for a year or longer.

In October 2009, 21,000 young people were in the same predicament, representing just under one in 10 young job hunters.

BSL’s executive director Conny Lenneberg said it was unacceptable that 265,000 young people were unemployed in Australia, despite 30 years of continuous economic growth.

She noted the national youth unemployment rate – sitting at 12 per cent – was almost three times the 3.9 per cent unemployment rate for people aged over 25. 

“There is no doubt youth unemployment overall remains an ongoing and urgent challenge – the national rate has again broken through to 12 per cent after an 18-month hiatus,” Lenneberg said.

“We are deeply concerned the long road of prosperity is pitted with potholes for Australia’s youth. 

“As a nation, we need to renew our efforts to help young people achieve economic security and reach their goals, like generations of Australians that came before them.”

The report found that youth unemployment rates were highest in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia with rates of 14 per cent or more.

Australian Capital Territory (8.8 per cent) was the only region to have a youth unemployment rate below 10 per cent.

BSL urged young people to consider entering industries set to witness major job growth in coming years, such as in health care and social assistance, construction, and education and training.

The report said there would be plenty of job opportunities in the future for young people around supporting baby boomers as they enter old age.

But Lenneberg questioned whether Australia’s vocational education and training system was equipped to meet future demand in these growing industries.

“As we head into a new decade, reforming the vocational education and training system must be a top priority for policymakers,” she said.

“There’s also clear evidence that all young unemployed people on income support need access to a youth specialist employment service.”

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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