Why Everyone Should Be Concerned About Youth Unemployment


Australia is raising a generation of young people deeply concerned about their future employment, regardless of their education level and whether they hold degrees. With youth employment having almost doubled since 2008, it’s a valid fear.

But this is not just a burden our youth alone should be shouldered with. The long term impacts will have far reaching consequences for the greater population. Here is why everyone should be focussed on skilling young workers for the future.



Scroll through the Internet or open a newspaper and you will be presented with the image of a generation more likely to live at home longer, finding it harder to buy their first house, and facing fewer employment opportunities than their parents.

It’s an image that on only barely scrapes the surface of how becoming self dependent is increasingly challenging in today’s modern world.


Employment in Australia

Over the past few years a number of reports in Australia have outlined the challenges faced by youth when it comes to securing and holding down a job. They note the job market for young people is at its worst in years, with unemployment almost doubling since the Global Financial Crisis to 13.5 per cent.

And that’s not just job seekers straight out of school. A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald showed school leavers are arming themselves with multiple degrees, but facing the real prospect they won’t get the job they want. A survey indicated 65% of 5000 students interviewed were concerned about getting a job in their chosen field, 56% believed job prospects in their field weren’t strong, and 51% were contemplating further study to combat the risk.

Global Issue

This isn’t a trend confined to Australia. According to a global report published last year and highlighted in the International Business Times “young people are more likely to be plagued by unemployment for at least the next decade compared to people of other ages and previous generations”.

“One billion youth, defined as people 15 to 29 are expected to look for a job in the next 10 years, but only 40 per cent of them will be able to find work if the global economy remains as is, said the report published by the Solutions for Youth Unemployment.”

The consequences

While it’s easy to sit back, let the government figure it out and ponder the challenges every generation has had to face, youth unemployment will have a major impact on the entire economy if not dealt with. Joblessness in the present breeds joblessness in the future, with those experiencing long-term unemployment now more likely to face it in years to come.

That leaves not only an unskilled workforce when the baby boomers retire but reduces the taxable incomes the government will have to support an ageing nation, and that becomes everyone’s problem.


What it will take

Statistics indicate prospective employees with work experience in their chosen field have a far greater likelihood of gaining employment. Whether that’s mentor programs, on-the-job training or opening up positions for work experience, time spent in an industry provides valuable skills that make young workers more employable.

If you wish to be part of the solution, see how the Father James Grant Foundation can work with your business to provide a skilled generation of the future.

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