One million jobs

By: yourtown 24 Jun 2016 Young People Services, yourtown Organisation News

IF YOU COULD CREATE a million new jobs, long-term youth unemployment will still be an issue…


As a country, we spend a great deal of time and resources in an attempt to address unemployment. The go-to strategy is to economically stimulate “job creation” with tax cuts for business and incentives for employers.

Let’s be clear, we certainly welcome any government initiatives to create new work opportunities. But… the reality is that for many of the 50,000+ young people (aged 15 to 24) classified as long-term unemployed last year, none of it matters. You could create a million new jobs and long-term youth unemployment would still be an issue.


  1. Long-term youth unemployment is not synonymous with a lack of available jobs.
  2. Being a long-term unemployed young person is not because of laziness or choice.


We know this is the case because we actively work with over 7% (3,720) of these young people. We know the challenges they face and one million jobs won’t fix it.  Here’s why…

  • Many of these young people have complex personal support and developmental needs
  • 1 in 5 of them have no fixed address or are homeless
  • 22% are struggling with their physical health or living with a disability
  • 9% have a mental illness that affects their ability to work
  • Education levels as well as literacy and numeracy are low
  • Social skills and emotional stability are a challenge for many
  • Substance abuse and addiction rates are a factor

The truth is that young people have significant challenges to overcome BEFORE they can consider applying for a job. Any new initiative that’s serious about long-term change needs to understand that and offer individualised, tailored assistance.

Let’s assume for a minute that there were a million jobs created. Young people struggling with issues (like referenced above) would still require intensive pre and post-employment support. They would still need specialist programs and people who are ready, willing and equipped.

"To get them jobs, stability and independence, we need strategies that are responsive, tailored and intensive." Tracy Adams, CEO

Understanding the individual needs of young people in long-term unemployment is resource intensive and specialised. It requires dedication and patience to build trust and understanding of each young person’s unique circumstance.


We believe that for long-term unemployed young people to get into jobs, they need stability and independence. Achieving that for each individual is a challenge that needs to be addressed and we’re ready to lead the way.

"We need to ensure the voice of young people is heard and that the right type of programs and resources are made available." John Dalgleish, Head of Strategy and Research

It’s time that addressing long-term youth unemployment became a national imperative and for greater collaboration and discussion between support services and government.

That’s why this year, we’ve released a Tackling Long-term Youth Unemployment Discussion Paper to share analysis and spearhead discussion around the issues associated with long-term youth unemployment.


Add your voice to the discussion by downloading a copy of the Tackling Long-term Youth Unemployment Discussion Paper and emailing your thoughts to our research team - [email protected]  

About yourtown...

We’re a community funded organisation that’s taking on the challenges young people face including Mental Health, Unemployment, Family and Domestic Violence.  Get the latest news and updates on our Facebook page.


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