What you need to know about Youth employment in the Upcoming Election

Credits:   Pang Yuhao   /Unsplash

Credits: Pang Yuhao/Unsplash

By: Ibrahim Taha

Hey, I’m Ibrahim Taha, and I’m studying Arts and Law at Sydney University. I have a passion for youth affairs, particularly finding ways to help young people secure long-term employment. Our goal is to provide a simple way to get informed about various topics. We strive to provide a balanced overview but always encourage you to critically engage, read more broadly and verify sources of information before deciding who to vote for. Enjoy!

Today I’ll be writing about youth unemployment in Australia.

Firefighter, teacher or Astronaut?

Have you ever wondered what it would take to fulfil your childhood career ambitions?  

Let us give you the low down on where things at:

  • According to the National Youth Commission, 50% of the jobs young people will work in have not even been created yet!

  • Young people often find it difficult to find work after leaving secondary school or graduating from university or TAFE.

  • There’s also the issue of underemployment, where people are working less hours than they desire.

Here’s the technical stuff:

Currently what the landscape looks like:

Young people aged 15-24 years face an unemployment rate of 11.2% (March 2019), which is double the national rate of unemployment.

While some young people may have secured a job, it is most likely part-time or casual, as full-time employment among youth has been declining since the 1970s.

Our economy is becoming increasingly globalised, putting greater demands on youth to broaden their skillsets and knowledge in order to secure work in the changing labour environment, which is continually disrupted by technological advancements.

Credits: Unbreakable Kitty Schmidt/Giphy

Credits: Unbreakable Kitty Schmidt/Giphy

Let’s compare: 

The Liberal Party

 What do the Liberal’s propose for you: 


The Labor Party


The Greens Party

The Greens have supported legislation to increase welfare payments to young people and have voted with the Labor Party to protect penalty rates.

Check out the Greens’ proposal:

Drumroll please…The verdict

Both major parties are on a unity ticket to increase apprenticeships, especially in areas of skill shortages. However, Labor’s proposal will open up more placements and waiver fees for 30 TAFE courses.

The Labor party and Greens support the restoration of penalty rates, as it is a key concern for young people who work part-time or on a casual basis. The Liberal Party will take on the recommendations of the Fair Work Commission and get rid of them.

The Greens have a unique proposal in this election that neither of the other parties offer, which is the abolishment of university and TAFE fees. The last time this was introduced was under the Whitlam Labor Government in 1974! (Check out this list of current and former ministers, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, that benefited from a free or far cheaper tertiary education).

While all parties believe in reducing youth unemployment, it is a multi-faceted issue that reflects the broader changes in our economy. Let’s make sure that young people are heard at this election, because we’re the ones disproportionately affected by unemployment. Write to your local federal MP, express your concerns, and ask for their solutions!  

Credits: Popkey/Giphy

Credits: Popkey/Giphy

extra resources for you to check out if you would like more information:

Who has a stake or influences this?

  •  Australian Government: Department of Jobs and Small Business, Department of Human Services, Department of Social Services, Department of Education and Training

  • Employers Association: National Apprentice Employment Network, Business Council of Australia, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

  • Education sector: Higher education Universities, vocational education TAFE, Secondary schools

  • Youth Interest Groups: Youth Action, National Youth Commission, Centre Multicultural Youth, Youth Development Australia