Long-term unemployed young people want to work - give them a go!

By: yourtown 23 Jun 2016 Media Releases

yourtown (formerly BoysTown) is calling on the future federal government to give long-term unemployed young people a fair go by giving them the extra personal support and training needed to get a job.

According to yourtown CEO Tracy Adams, while welcoming the focus both major political parties is giving to responding to youth unemployment, employment support packages announced to date do not provide the intensive support required to address many of the multifaceted issues limiting the participation of long-term unemployed young people in work.

“Long-term unemployed young people do want to work but face numerous barriers to employment, which include but are not limited to lack of work experience and skills,” Ms Adams said.

“Any new initiative serious about addressing long-term youth unemployment must provide intensive individualised assistance that addresses the vocational, practical and social challenges they face.

“More than 50,000 young people aged 15 to 24 years were in long-term unemployment last year – that is they had been out of work for at least a year. The prevalence of young people in this category has increased since 2007 reaching its highest point in 2015.

yourtown is working with over 7% (3,720) of these young people and has an extensive knowledge of the issues they face.

“Young unemployed people have a particularly difficult time in the labour market due to their low social capital, that is not having established contacts in the workforce, as well as a lack of opportunity to develop knowledge about employment and work practices gained from work experience.

“These issues can be exacerbated if employers hold negative views of unemployed young people and they’re competing with job seekers who have higher levels of experience, qualifications and skills.

“Of the long-term unemployed young people we are working with, 19% are early school leavers while 87% do not have a driver licence – something many employers want their staff to have.

“They can also have complex personal support and developmental needs. In this same group: 19% are experiencing primary or secondary homelessness; 9% have a mental illness; and 22% have a disability or medical condition.

“Young people are clearly facing complex challenges and to address these issues and get them jobs we need interventions and strategies that are responsive, tailored and intensive - that is designed to address both their personal and experiential barriers to employment.”

Ms Adams said yourtown tackles these issues by looking at youth unemployment and its causes, examining individual challenges and finding solutions.

“We recognise that if we’re going to create effective interventions and strategies that help this group get jobs we need an all of community approach.

“This year, yourtown released the Tackling Long-term Youth Unemployment Discussion Paper to share analysis and spearhead discussion around the issues associated with long-term youth unemployment.

yourtown invites governments, agencies, employers and all those serious about finding solutions to long-term youth unemployment to join in the discussion to inform effective strategies that will mean the more than 50,000 young people looking for work can find a brighter future.”

Please access the Tackling Long-term Youth Unemployment Discussion Paper at: https://www.yourtown.com.au/insights/advocacy

To join the discussion email [email protected]

yourtown works with young people to find jobs, learn skills, become great parents and live safe happy lives. The organisation delivers services in the states that have higher than average incidence of long-term youth unemployment - Tasmania (29.2%), South Australia (19.5%), Queensland (18.7%) and New South Wales (18.7%).

For more about yourtown visit www.yourtown.com.au


Interview/filming opportunities

Tracy Adams, yourtown CEO
Brendan Bourke, yourtown Head of Client Services
John Dalgleish, yourtown Head of Strategy and Research
Dr Salote Scharr, yourtown Senior Researcher


Regan Flor  [email protected]  07 3867 1395 / 0423 843 786
Tracey Gillinder  [email protected]  07 3867 1248 / 0434 077 478

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