No simple remedy for youth unemployment: Vinnies

Vinnies Australia says insecure, short-term work is a problem for young people (Bigstock)

A new report claims that a skills mismatch is at the heart of youth unemployment, but Vinnies Australia says the issue is much more complex. Source: The Catholic Leader.

According to the Foundation for Young Australians report, the nation's youth unemployment figure is at one in three young Australians in some places.

FYA chief executive officer Jan Owen said 70 per cent of young people were learning skills that would be redundant by 2030. She said the mismatch between skills supply and demand was one of the most pressing economic challenges facing Australia, she said.

But Vinnies Australia quickly replied on Twitter, saying the issue was far more complex than just a skills mismatch.

Vinnies Australia policy and research director Corinne Dobson said while there were issues around a skills mismatch, the biggest incongruity was between the number of jobs available and the number of people looking for them.

“Particularly entry level jobs, which affects young people who might just be trying to enter the workforce for the first time,” Ms Dobson said.

“It’s just really hard to get a foothold when the job opportunities are just not there.”

But even when jobs were to be had, the quality of the jobs was often called into question.

Ms Dobson said Vinnies Australia put the Catholic social justice teaching at the forefront of their approach to employment.

“We shouldn’t be compelling young people to work in forms of employment that is not supporting their dignity,” she said.

“The decline in labour standards and the lack of proper remuneration are all major concerns that we have.

“From a policy and political level, we would like to be hearing those issues being talked about a lot more in the discussion around jobs.”

Ms Dobson said one of the biggest challenges was “in-work poverty” – that was young people who were employed, but unable to earn enough to make ends meet.

“The notion that a job is the best way out of poverty unfortunately is not always the case,” she said.

“One of the issues we really have, that we’ve seen in countries overseas and it may be becoming more of an issue in Australia, is a cohort of young people who actually get really stuck in getting part-time, insecure, short-term work."


Unemployment, no simple remedy – the job trap keeping young Aussies from full-time work (The Catholic Leader

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