Finding a job has become harder than ever for inexperienced and unqualified young Australians.
Anglicare Australia’s newly released Job Availability Snapshot 2017 found there were more barriers than ever confronting a sector desperate for opportunity and work.
Despite strong growth in full-time employment, 711,900 people remained unemployed in May, when the study was conducted. Of those 124,385 were job seekers with no qualifications or experience – but there were just 25,978 advertised entry-level jobs appropriate for them.
The report offers several clear findings:
• There are not enough entry-level positions available
• Unskilled juniors are not benefiting from a boom in full-time employment
• The growing casualisation of the workforce makes it harder for such people to gain secure work.
Hatch took to the streets of Sydney to ask some young people how they felt about the report’s findings.
Lachlan, a third-year law and communications student, previously had one year of work experience in retail. He’s been searching for months now but is still unable to find a job in that field. He was lucky to find a temporary gig working for the “YES” campaign on marriage equality.
Asked about the prospects of competing for a job in the legal industry, he expressed concern.
“It’s intimidating. There’s not enough jobs for graduates,” he told Hatch.
Samasbhi, who is studying pharmacology, spent three months searching for a job. Due to the lack of available jobs in the pharmaceutical industry for graduates, she is considering moving back to India after finishing her degree.
Summing up the job market here, she said “It’s too stressful in Australia.”
Launching the Snapshot this week, the executive director of Anglicare Australia, Kasy Chambers, called for new approaches to solving the problem of youth unemployment.
“We’ve always known that the job market is tough for people without qualifications or experience to draw on… Not only are they competing with each other for these diminishing jobs, but they are also competing with more highly-skilled job-seekers.
“Those who do find a job end up in unstable roles.”
Cracking down on welfare clearly wasn’t helping people find work. Instead, people were forced to compete for jobs that simply don’t exist, she said.
Australia should redesign the support system “so that it’s a safety net – not a poverty trap”.
Anglicare’s mission is to influence social and economic policy across Australia, speaking for the country’s most disadvantaged. Its researchers also produce reports on rental affordability, living standards and more. The full Jobs Snapshot can be found here on Anglicare’s website.
Jack Mara and Eleanor Campbell. Inset photo by Eleanor Campbell
Top image from the peacechild.org website addressing youth unemployment.