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Young People are the answer  

May 12, 2021 Youth Employment

12 May 2021 – Response to the Federal Budget

The Government has said its focus is on “jobs jobs jobs” and therefore we need a plan to ensure the workforce is ready and able in some of the most needed areas – the care industries.

The Y (formerly the YMCA) welcomes many of the measures to rebuild the national economy following the global pandemic and reform the care sector, these measures require us to ensure that young people are at the forefront of our thinking when it comes to workforce development.

Youth unemployment is currently at 12% nationally and in some regional areas it’s as high as 24%.  In these same regional areas there is a major shortage of care workers. With training, learning, on the job support and mentorship, our young people can commence establishing meaningful careers and help boost the care workforce to resolve these critical social and economic issues.

The CEO of the Y Melinda Crole said: “We are hopeful that many of the funding measures announced by the Government come with consideration for the additional support required to ensure our young people are given the opportunity to be a significant part of the solution. The Y is ready and willing to establish a Y Career Agency that is intended to help support more than 30,000 young people into carer careers. This can help address workforce shortages in child care, disability and aged care sectors.  We will continue to hold talks with the Government to secure support for this vital initiative.”

“For only $500 for each of these employment placements, we would provide supported career coaching, training and varied work experiences to support young people and help boost the pipeline of Australian care workers – and the agency would be self-sustaining after the first year of operation.

“We know from previous financial crises that young people face the greatest long-term impact particularly in relation to future employment and career opportunities, and the additional educational disruption and stresses experienced during 2020 will likely exacerbate these. There is a solution! What we also know from young people is that, secure and meaningful employment significantly supports their mental health as well.

The extension of JobTrainer over the next two years, and the $2.7 billion in employer wage subsidies for taking on new apprentices and trainees are welcome initiatives. We also see the benefits of extending the 1800 CAREER information service and Jobs Fairs to give careers information and advice.

For young people facing disadvantage, the announcement of continued funding and additional wage subsidies for the Transition to Work program will also make a real difference.

See the impacts of the Federal Budget for young people here.

About the Y

The Y is a community not-for-profit and the oldest youth organisation in the world (177 years’ old). Services include: children’s services (early learning, kindergarten and OSHC), recreation (swimming, gyms, gymnastics), camping, youth programs and disability services.

Impacts of COVID-19 on young people’s employment

  • The latest Labour Market Update (March 2021) confirms that young people continue to be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, given their higher representation in industries with casual employment including in retail, accommodation and food services.
  • While representing only 15% of the population, young people accounted for 62% of the total fall in employment between March and November 2020 (LMU 2021).
  • Youth unemployment rose from 11.6% in March 2020 to a peak of 16.4% in July 2020 before falling to 15.6% in November 2020. Since March 2020, the youth unemployment rate has risen by 1.3 percentage points (LMU 2021).
  • As was seen in the 2009 Global Financial Crisis and other economic downturns, the long term impact on young people’s employment and long term career opportunities is expected to extend beyond the initial health crisis.
  • Young people (15-24) have consistently had the highest underemployment rates in Australia for the past decade. (ABS).

For interviews with the National CEO of the Y Melinda Crole and young spokespeople for the Y please contact:
Dianne McDonald M: 0412 858 556 e:

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