While Greater Western Sydney is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, jobs and training opportunities for young people are not keeping up.
Western Sydney is disproportionately affected by disadvantages that make the region vulnerable to macro changes happening to the broader employment landscape, making it tough for young people looking for work in the region to find it.
The report shows:
- There is a high concentration of young people in industries vulnerable to automation and change (46% are employed by high risk areas such as hospitality and retail) and many holding casual or part-time jobs.
- Nationally, the number of full-time jobs available for 15-19 year olds has halved since 2008.
- Education completion rates and young employees who work in jobs requiring post-school qualifications are lower in Western Sydney than the Sydney average.
- 6.9% of young people in Western Sydney are not studying or looking for work compared to 3.9% for the rest of Sydney. Once young people 'disengage' from full-time study or work, they become less likely to re-enter employment in the future.
If we take action now we can reduce the number of young people who become disengaged, who are more likely to become long-term unemployed, have poorer health outcomes, and lower educational attainment, and give those who are searching for jobs more opportunities that will actually work for them.
Youth Action calls on the NSW Government to:
- Make a clear commitment that young people have a right to education that prepares them for the future.
- Pay closer attention to labour market regulation in sectors that young people are over-represented, and interventions are made when required.
- Make a commitment to educating young people on their pathways to education and training.
- Commit to targeted efforts to lift secondary completion rates, especially in areas under-represented in education and training completion rates, and over-represented in youth unemployment.