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The Y at the Jobs and Skills Summit in Canberra

September 2, 2022 The Y in Australia

Our National CEO, Tal Karp, was in Canberra for the Jobs and Skills Summit representing the Y Movement; one of just under 150 industry and thought leaders in Australia to be invited by the Prime Minister and Treasurer.

On the agenda was how to create the right skills and training conditions for the future, tackling workplace discrimination, and examining the policy levers to increase inclusivity and participation.

At the Y, we believe in the power of inspired young people, and we know that recently, the conditions for young people to thrive have not been in place. The effects of the pandemic fell disproportionately on the shoulders of young people, with increased mental health presentations, uncertain and insecure labour conditions, disrupted education and training, and a growing sense of financial immobility as wage growth has flatlined. Young people are at the heart of the Y, and they are saying with one voice: more needs to be done.

It’s incredibly encouraging that Tal has been invited to the Jobs and Skills Summit as a representative of the Y in Australia and of the youth sector. Tal will be standing up for the communities that we serve, the young people who we stand with and for, and for the next generation of change makers. There’s never been a more important time to stand with and for young people. The world of work has changed, and we need new, innovative, solutions to solve for this.

As one of Australia’s largest employers of young people, the Y currently employs more than 8,000 young people across 650 communities in Australia; and over the next five years, will employ 15,000 more through our new initiative, Y Careers; which will train and support young people into secure, purpose driven roles in the child care, disability care and aged care sectors.

Some key takeaways from the Jobs and Skills Summit at Parliament House:

Day 1 of the Jobs and Skills Summit (1/9/22)

– Investing in early learning and care, and building a well-supported pipeline of skilled care workers is essential to unlocking our Nation’s full economic and social potential.

– If “untapped women’s workforce participation was a massive iron ore deposit”, there would be no shortage of subsidies to get it out of the ground. In a context where 50% of women in their 20s are subjected to sexual harassment, accountability for driving gender equitable, inclusive, flexible workplaces and communities is not just a nice-to-have. It’s a must have.

– We need to connect young people with growth and future focused industries, including the green economy. We need to signal to young people the breadth of jobs available; the skills required for careers of the future; and we need to support them with meaningful career pathways.

– Solutions require the collaborative coming together of sectors. And in driving solutions – as eloquently stated by youth ambassador Yasmin Poole – young people are watching. And they must have a seat at the table.

– As the Prime Minister said in his introduction,  the work of building a strong economy should be for everyone. It should lift everyone up. And that has to include young people.

Day 2 of the Jobs and Skills Summit (2/9/22)

Day two’s focus was largely on dismantling discrimination and the barriers to participation, with an extraordinary session before lunch moderated by Isaiah Dawe.

Panel members Shaima Hussain, Nathan Carolus, Diana McMurtry and Stephanie Agnew painted an extremely compelling vision of a system without barriers, that put people at the centre of their careers. We heard loud and clear that disability should never be a barrier to meaningful work – captured tenaciously by Elly Desmarchelier Disability Rights Campaigner.

We were again impressed by the contributions of our articulate youth advocates Luke Rycken of Australian Youth Affairs Coalition and Yasmin Poole. Their collective message to the federal government was – don’t let the issues of young people fall off the agenda.

Thank you to our Y Australia CEO Tal Karp who has been advocating for young people, our communities and better outcomes in Canberra.

See the published outcomes of the Jobs & Skills Summit here.

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