A series of youth unemployment reports have outlined the difficulties faced by young people when it comes to getting a job and keeping it; with confidence, skill attainment and lack of job availability among the greatest challenges the generation of the future has to face.
According to both the Youth Unemployment in Australia study and the Mission Australia Youth Survey 2015, young people have been hit hard by the global financial crisis with youth unemployment averaging 13.5% over the past 12 months.
For people aged between 15 and 24 this means their unemployment rate has nearly doubled since 2008, with 300,000 young people accounting for nearly a third of unemployment in Australia. It’s a set of statistics that’s shaken their confidence and could shape their future.
Declining job market
The declining prospects for young people in the job market are due not only to fewer positions becoming available but a mismatch between potential jobs and the level of skills possessed by young workers. As companies respond to harder economic times by tightening their belts, they lay off or avoid recruiting new employees. When they do seek staff, expectations of skills are higher, leaving young workers out in the cold.
In addition, high job turnover discourages companies from investing in on the job training. For young workers this creates a situation of increased liability where their prospects of gaining employment are limited, and the possibility of long-term unemployment is higher, leading to a loss of employable skills and a gap in their résumé that sends the wrong message to employers.
Frightening figures indicate the percentage of young people experiencing long spells of unemployment has risen from 20.3% in 2008 to 34.4% in 2015, meaning one in three young job seekers has a spell of at least six months without employment. This growth of disengaged youth is what we at The Father James Grant Foundation work to reduce with every program.
The troubling reality of becoming a disengaged youth member is the effects are long term – the more immediate difficulty people experience gaining employment, the more difficulty they will have in the future.
These statistics are not lost on the young generation, with decreased confidence in their ability to work in modern Australia.
The Mission Australia Youth Study noted most young people aim to either take on paid employment or study further in the years following school to then attain a job. However, they are challenged by the state of the economy, worrying not only about their academic results, but their financial ability to fund themselves during study, and a lack of jobs available.
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Related articles: Where Addresssing Youth Unemployment Starts.