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Youth Week - invest in young people now

Apr 13, 2015, 09:00 AM by Anglicare Australia

In recognising and celebrating National Youth Week (10-19 April), Anglicare Australia is encouraged by the government’s recognition of the interventions that help get young people into work or study, but reiterates the need to invest individually in young people and ensure they have a safe place to live, for those opportunities to pay off.

“I was delighted to read Minister Morrison’s comments that acknowledged the need to invest in young people who face real disadvantages in entering the workforce,” Anglicare Australia Executive Director, Kasy Chambers said today.

“However, withdrawing benefits for some of our most marginalised young people or expecting parents or guardians to support them until they are 22 - as proposed - would be terrible backward steps. National Youth Week is a good to time to rule them out.

"Anglicare member Brotherhood of St Laurence has been tracking the growing problem of youth unemployment for many years. Minister Morrison referred to the Brotherhood’s analysis and their solution: To .. invest in young people now. I hope this next Budget is about making that investment, not looking to save money in the short-term by cutting costs.

“As the Productivity Commission pointed out last week, secure and affordable housing underpins the capacity of people to find and keep work. We are just collecting the data now for Anglicare’s annual Rental Affordability Snapshot, but youth homelessness doesn’t appear to have improved since our last survey – where we priced over 62,000 properties, and found less than 1% was affordable for singles on a government payment.

“People often talk about taking a ‘jobs first approach’, but the evidence (Beyond Supply and Demand) from our network is you need to take a ‘life first’ approach with young people instead. That’s about education, housing and support when you need it (being a/part), as well as a real job in your line of sight.”