Opinion By: Mark Waite, CEO Of Youth Futures WA
As an organization we work with a specific cohort of young people who definitely fall into the category of being at-risk of not only youth unemployment but long term unemployment and a reliance on Centerlink.
These are the young people that fall through the gaps and generally require more support to overcome barriers to education and employment than is generally available.
Young people who through no fault of their own find circumstances in their life have not prepared them for a very competitive employment market where there is simply no job for 1 in every 6 young people.
Yet we expect them to apply for jobs that don’t exist, to be rejected week after week, simply to access a payment that requires them to live well below the poverty line.
We need to prepare our young people for the jobs that are available now and the jobs that will be available in the future, we should never have a skills shortage if we plan appropriately.
I strongly believe this preparation needs to start earlier and be integrated into the education system, young people need to be ready to be employed by the time they leave school.
If a young person then chooses to train or study further for a specific career they can do it, but all young people should possess the basic skills to be employed and just as important, there needs to be realistic employment opportunities for all young people.