What Future? Inquiry into Youth Employment and Transitions
Marking the beginning of the Youth Futures Summit 2020, early last week the NYCA released its Interim Findings Report for its Inquiry into Youth Employment and Transitions, which can be downloaded now.
Even before 2020 brought COVID-19 to Australia, it has been increasingly obvious for decades that despite Australia’s apparent prosperity, the prospects for young people leaving school and entering the workforce have been steadily worsening. This is evident in the everyday life and experiences of young people across the nation, in families, schools, workplaces, and communities, and is backed up in trend reports and analyses coming out of government sources, the nation’s think tanks and universities.
The report presents findings about the conditions for success needed by young people as they navigate their transitions from school to work, and from entry into the labour force towards sustainable employment.
Beyond the basic needs for love and social connection, family, and friends, the Inquiry found that young people need:
- Education and training that is meaningful to them and prepares them for life in the 21st century
- Informed choices about employment opportunities that come from exposure to the world of work and better understanding of the future of work
- Work experience to get a start in working life
- Guaranteed secure employment opportunities with fair pay and conditions
- Adequate income support when studying and during periods of unemployment, as well as enough to top up their income needs when they are underemployed
- Housing that is stable and affordable, and close enough to where young people work, learn, and develop social connections
- Mental health services, that are capable of a timely response to crisis, but also to the early onset of mental health issues
- Transport options that fit with times for work and learning
- A sustainable environment and a serious commitment to address climate change.
This is an Interim Report because the Inquiry process is designed to ensure that the Commission can validate our analysis of the evidence gathered and test the ideas for policy reform: better ways to engage young people; the resources that need to be invested, shared, or reconfigured; and suggestions about who needs to be involved in the changes.