May 2013: A strong economy requires a sustainable and dynamic working population. Central to this is the recognition of the vital role that young people play in the workforce, and sound policy to tackle the obstacles preventing more young people from developing the valuable skills and self-assurance that come from meaningful employment.
Young people constitute a substantial part of the workforce, with over 73 percent of 20-24 year olds and 47 percent of 15-19 year olds in some form of employment. Many of these young people balance work commitments with schooling and tertiary studies or training. Youth Action’s policy paper addresses some common problems experienced by young people at work:limited awareness of rights, overrepresentation in workplace health and safety injuries, exploitation and unpaid work, the limited prospects for skill development and training in casual work, and the discriminatory system of junior rates of pay.