Youth Unemployment in Western Sydney
A new report has identified suburban clusters in Western Sydney with significantly high rates of youth unemployment and disengagement.
Commissioned by Youth Action, and authored by Professor Phillip O'Neill of Western Sydney University, Youth Unemployment in Western Sydney reveals a compounding set of problems that push young people towards disengagement. These include low rates of school completion and bachelor degree attainment, which lock young people into unskilled jobs that are more vulnerable to economic and technological disruption. Under-training also locks them out of the knowledge and professional services sectors of the economy, where there is persistent growh of full-time, well-paid jobs.
Other factors in these suburban clusters contributing to extremely high rates of youth unemployment and disengagement are high levels of poverty, low home and car ownership and a high proportion of young mothers.
The fall in full-time employment employment opportuntities is having a particularly big impact on unskilled young people in South West Sydney. Rather than participating in education, they are disengaging completely.
The report recommends a coordinated response across government portfolios and levels, including the importance of creating more entry-level opportunities in a range of occupations, and making education and training places more desirable to all comers. It argues that finding solutions to to youth unemployment and disengagement is a good investment for government, because it will create a bigger pool of wealth-generating, tax-paying Australians for decades to come.
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