The most recent employment figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) demonstrate an alarming trend of increasing youth unemployment, with the rate rising from 10.8% in September to 13.1% in October.
Young people are clearly not benefiting from the ‘COVID recovery’ measures currently in place. While young people account for only 15 percent of the labour market, they experienced 55 percent of job losses over the last two years and of course, and these are just the official figures. Many analysts expect the true rates are much higher given the large numbers that have dropped out of the labour market.
Our care workforce is already stretched beyond capacity. With the ageing population of Australia expected to double over the next 30 years there is a national challenge to secure 150,000 extra workers for these essential care services and the people hired in this capacity need to genuinely want to care for our elders.
“For over a year now the Y (formerly the YMCA) has been calling on the Government to support young Australians into care careers,” says the Y’s National Advocate for Youth Employment Susannah Le Bron.
“We are continuing to seek support for a new Y Career Agency to help solve two of the most challenging problems facing our country: the need to help young people find meaningful and secure jobs, and the critical need for a skilled workforce in the sector of care.”
The Y has provided data that demonstrates, for every Federal electorate, the shortage of care workers alongside the number of unemployed/ underemployed young people. On the basis of the data, there is an urgent and evident opportunity to address both issues.
Independent market research shows that older Australians would welcome young Australians to take on roles in the care sector – Including for in-home care services – and we know from our extensive work with young people that many young people would find these jobs very rewarding.
With nearly 1 in 3 young Australians either unemployed or under-employed, we have no time to waste in designing youth specific employment measures as part of our national COVID recovery plans.
The Y Career Agency – if supported – will deliver personalised career education, advice and support services to nearly 30,000 young people over the next five years. This will provide young people with access to relevant education and training, and ensure a skilled workforce of job-ready young people for the sector.
The Y would provide multiple work experience opportunities across different settings, while acting as a single employer coordinating as many hours as young people need across multiple roles and locations.
For more background on the Y Careers Agency visit here.
See also news items:
The Y wants meaningful employment opportunities for young Australians February 22, 2021
42 hot spots identified
In an Australian first, the Y mapped the regions with high identified care needs and high levels of youth unemployment. This identified 42 hot spots which must be targeted as a matter of priority.
See the Hot Spots Report here.