National Youth Week: young people want jobs, education and training

4 April 2017

It’s National Youth Week and we’re highlighting issues that really matter for young people around Australia – jobs, education and training.

Our Generation Stalled report was launched last week. It found that in February 2017, more than 650,000 young people were either unemployed or underemployed – having some work but wanting more. It’s had widespread media coverage, putting the issue front and centre for key decision makers.

Beyond figures there are real stories that shed light on the challenges for today's generation. In each Youth Unemployment Monitor campaign we’ve run since 2014, we’ve invited young people to share their stories. Aaron, 19, shared his story this time around. In this video he explains his struggle to find the full-time work he needs to earn enough to start an independent life. When we launched the Monitor in 2014, Troy told his story. Then aged 19, he spoke about applying for work daily and completing work related training, but feeling frustrated that his lack of experience meant he could not get his foot in the door. We're pleased to report that since then Troy has completed a two-year office traineeship and earned Certificates III and IV in business administration. Last year he embarked on a working holiday at a summer mountain resort in Banff, Canada. Building on his experience, he recently returned home to Melbourne and is exploring new work opportunities.

Another feature of the Monitor is ‘Wise Words’, a column written by a prominent community figure with a fresh perspective on how to tackle youth unemployment. This time, music legend Jimmy Barnes told us about a time when it was far easier for young people, even those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to go straight from school into the workforce. Previous Wise Words contributors include:

  • Alpha Cheng whose father Curtis Cheng was killed by a 15-year-old gunman believed to be radicalised by ISIS
  • Australian of the Year ‘Local Hero’ Catherine Keenan
  • Amy Rhodes and Laura Sobels, Australian delegates to the Y20 – the official youth engagement group linked into the G20, and
  • Businessman David Gonski who led a major review of school funding.

Check out our Youth Unemployment Monitor to learn more about the March 2017 Monitor, and previous campaigns.