More vocational training needed to reduce youth unemployment

Nearly one in five unemployed young people have been out of work for a year or more, according to a disturbing new report out today from the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

The report,  ‘Prosperity’s Children’ reveals that more than 46,000 Australian jobseekers aged 15 to 24 meet the definition of ‘long term unemployed’.

This means the national youth unemployment rate is now back at 12 per cen – almost three times the 3.9 per cent unemployment rate for people aged 25 and over.  

“Despite Australia being about to notch up 30 years of overall economic growth, an estimated 265,000 young people today are in the unemployment queue,” said the report, part of BSL’s youth employment campaign.

The report, based on data including from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, highlights the intense pressure on young Australians compared to a decade when one in ten jobseekers were unemployed for a year or more.


The occupation group with the biggest projected increase in jobs by 2023 is personal carers and assistants in the caring economy.

“Our analysis exposes the cruel irony of being young and long-term unemployed in Australia as we approach 30 years of continuous economic growth,” said the Brotherhood’s Executive Director Conny Lenneberg.

The report found youth unemployment varied across states with Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia hardest hit with youth unemployment rates of 14 per cent or more. 

But job seekers can see some hope in this situation. The report found  training young people to become skilled workers in growth industries is important as low-skilled jobs in industries such as manufacturing and agriculture continue to decline.

It found that vocational education and training (VET) occupations that require a VET qualification and are likely to show the greatest increase in jobs to 2023 including:

  • personal carers and assistants
  • child carers
  • education aides
  • ICT support technicians
  • plumbers
  • electricians

Of these, the occupation group with the biggest projected increase in jobs by 2023 is personal carers and assistants in the caring economy. This is because Australia’s population is ageing and the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme has led to more jobs in this area.

Some 82,500 additional jobs are expected by 2023, of which 69,200 positions are expected for carers of people who are aged or live with disability.

However, the report questioned whether the nation’s vocational education and training system is on track to meet future demand in many fast-growing occupations.

“As we head into a new decade, reforming the vocational education and training system must be a top priority for policymakers. There’s also clear evidence that all young unemployed people on income support need access to a youth specialist employment service,” Ms Lenneberg said.

Gold Coast turns sod at its first Youth Foyer

The Gold Coast’s new Youth Foyer is on track to begin construction.

On Tuesday (December 3), Queensland Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni (pictured centre, above) turned the sod on the new Youth Foyer at its vacant site in Southport.

 “We are working with the Gold Coast community to build something that meets the expectations and needs of not just future residents, but the local community who will welcome them in,” Mr de Brenni told local media.

 “This is no hand-out,” Mr de Brenni said. “This is about providing a safe and secure environment for young people who are unable to live at home with their families.

“It’s about helping put them on a positive path by becoming confident, strong and self-supporting. They also learn about the rights and responsibilities of being a tenant before moving into more independent housing options.”

“The Youth Foyer site is close to education facilities and government services, will eventually have 40 self-contained apartments with 24-hour on-site supervision and support for the young tenants.

Local Member for Gaven, Meaghan Scanlon (pictured right of Mr de Brenni), said residents and organisations will be working together on the best way that we can welcome these young people into our community and ensure they stay on track.

“The Youth Foyer site is close to education facilities and government services, will eventually have 40 self-contained apartments with 24-hour on-site supervision and support for the young tenants.

“So, rather than worrying about where you’re going to sleep or where your next meal is coming from, you can study and work hard to create a brighter future.”

Ms Scanlon said every young person living in the Youth Foyer would pay rent while being supported to learn the skills necessary to get ahead and be a good citizen of Queensland.

The Gold Coast Youth Foyer is will be constructed by Horizon housing and when completed will be operated by Gold Coast Youth Service.

Gold Coast Youth Service manager Lesley Healy said: “We are pleased to be involved in the Youth Foyer because it will enhance housing options for young people on the Gold Coast who are undertaking training, higher education or employment opportunities and require supported housing.”

Construction on the new Gold Coast Youth Foyer and a new Youth Foyer at Townsville is expected to start early next year and be operational by the end of 2020.

The Logan Youth Foyer south of Brisbane, has just undergone a major renovation and expansion from 22 to 40 units which recently celebrated at its 10th anniversary celebrations.


Foyer Foundation seeks Executive Officer

The Foyer Foundation, based in Fitzroy in Melbourne, is seeking an Executive Officer to lead the organisation.

The new CEO will work closely with the board to manage the day to day of operations of the Foundation and lead its strategic direction.

The successful applicant will work closely with the board to manage the day to day operations and lead the purpose and strategy of the Foyer Foundation.

The CEO will be responsible for a range of functions, with a significant focus on ensuring an effective accreditation process and communication to support the Foyers model.

To be successful in this role you will need a track record of leading in a collaborative manner bringing varied experience from sectors such as education and training, youth affairs, housing and homelessness or areas of relevant social policy.

For more information, or to apply about the position which offers flexible hours , call Anna Skeels on 03 8080 8976 or go to ngorecruitment.com