We need to work harder for young people everywhere during COVID-19

IMage of Sophie Johnston standing at a podium speaking, with a screen in the background saying NYC

We need to work harder for young people everywhere during COVID-19

We are living through extraordinary times, COVID-19 has completely disrupted our economy and society and the impact this will have on young people and their futures is unimaginable

Work has almost entirely shifted to remote and online other than essential services, supply chains are rattled while whole industries are closed until further notice, and education from high school to TAFE and university has been interrupted. Many young people have lost their entry-level jobs in retail or hospitality, not to mention those young people who were looking to get their foot in the door who are now at a disadvantage for gaining real work experience. 

Australia’s future is looking unpredictable but we have a great opportunity to influence federal and state governments, employers, the education sector and policymakers alike to design a better system of support for young people. We, as a society, have an opportunity to address the pre-existing weaknesses and issues in education and employment and the transition between both in order to create a more equitable society, where all young people are either in education, training or employment. 

The National Youth Commission of Australia (NYC) is working to deliver this new future for young people. We’re doing this by bringing together the expertise, ideas and experiences of young people, and the whole of the Australian community, to build a reform agenda that sees all young people equipped and supported to fully participate in work and the community now and in the post-COVID-19 world. 

Through evidence-based and youth-led policy and advocacy, the NYC is working towards several goals: 

  1. A rise in youth employment rates across Australia
  2. Living costs and housing affordability addressed
  3. Wealth inequality reduced
  4. The eradication of all youth homelessness
  5. Equal access to education for all young people – but education that works for the needs of each young person. 

Our research and advocacy cover many areas, however, in the current COVID-19 crisis, we will be focussed on:

  • Job security
  • Pathways back into employment and training 
  • Rental and housing security and stability 
  • Youth employment in regional/rural communities 
  • Climate change 
  • Career sustainability 
  • Online Learning, development and employability skills in the future of work
  • Youth Allowance and other income support rates
  • Youth Mental Health
  • Gig Workers rights 

We cannot afford to go back to business as usual once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, and we certainly cannot allow extreme austerity measures to be put in place in the aftermath of the pandemic. This crisis has shown us that young people’s education and livelihoods are extremely fragile to external forces. To avoid a whole generation’s collective insecurity we must create long-term solutions that will enable this and future generations to thrive and adapt to a changing world of work.

Your support is needed now more than ever before. If your organisation has the capacity or you are one of the fortunate enough to still be in secure employment, please consider making a tax deductible donation to the work of the National Youth Commission of Australia by donating here or by contacting us at info@nycinquiry.org.au

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