Young People and BNPL: An NCOSS 'Cost of Living in NSW' Report
New research conducted by NCOSS and Youth Action into Buy Now Pay Later products highlights the fact that young people predominantly use these products responsibly and that they see them as a legitimate way for those on low incomes to manage the increasing cost of living. It does however also draw attention to the precarious financial situation for many young people and how a sudden reduction in income can quickly lead to a young person finding themselves in a difficult debt situation. Young people tell us that they want more opportunities for financial literacy education. This report shows that this kind of education could be particularly beneficial to younger ages or those in vulnerable financial situations.
Youth Action welcomes this opportunity to make a submission to the Select Committee on Job Security Inquiry. We are calling on the government to mitigate the impact of insecure and precarious employment upon young people. While young people see opportunity within the tech-driven on-demand and gig economies, they also expect job opportunities that are reliable and provide decent working conditions. Security is increasingly important as Australia recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young people's voices and lived experience should be central to government approaches to job security and young people are eager to participate in decision-making processes impacting them. Youth Action encourages the government to consult young people in an ongoing and meaningful manner on these issues.
Youth Action welcomes the invitation to make a submission to the Inquiry into Assaults on Members of the NSW Police Force by the Committee on Law and Safety. NSW Police play an integral role in community safety and have the right to conduct their work without fear of violence. While the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research indicates instances of police assault from young people is low, we believe this inquiry has the potential to strengthen police practices and programs to support positive relations with young people and limit any potential violent behaviour.
This document provides a joint comment on NSW Government's draft Student Behaviour Strategy from Youth Action and Yfoundations. We believe there is a real opportunity to embed young people's voice in the decision-making process, and support further consultation and engagement with students and youth organisations regarding school policies.
Youth Action welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Strengthening Income Support) Bill 2021. We are calling on the Government to reconsider its announced minimal increased with a meaningful increase that lifts young people out of poverty. The ramifications of a social service system that continues to entrench poverty from a young age will lead to poorer educational, employment and social outcomes for all communities. A meaningful increase in Youth Allowance and JobSeeker will not only support Individuals but lead to stronger communities and empowered young people. This submission is informed by our ongoing advocacy in equity and poverty reduction, joint campaigning efforts with the Raise the Rate for Good campaign, and most significantly by the voices of young people and the services that support them.
Addressing the changing nature of youth involvement in apprenticeships and the perceived value of apprenticeships in the market.
The decline in apprentices and the current ‘skills shortage’ faced by Australia is driven by a diverse number of factors. Historical reasoning points to a mixture of quasi-market policy in industrial relations in the 1990s and early 2000s, a steady increase in competition in the training market, the changing nature of youth involvement in apprenticeships and the perceived value of apprenticeships in the market.
Overall, retention rates are low as apprentices are often faced with many barriers while undertaking training. A range of factors contribute to non-completion of training which includes personal, demographic, structural, economic, educational, political and environmental conditions2. In short, many issues exist around overall productivity of the apprenticeship and trainee system and the problem as a whole is complex. Technological, educational and lifestyle advancements over the last 50 years mean that the apprenticeship and trainee system cannot continue to be antiquated and must modernise.
In order to support Australia through the current skills shortage, policy makers, employers, industry associations, not-for-profit organisations, unions and apprentices need to come together to provide their insights into successful and motivating programs for young people. This will act as a measure to increase the retention rates of young people entering apprenticeships and skills training, as well as encouraging young people to take up trades and training as an alternative to university or unskilled work.
Employment is essential to a young person’s wellbeing and future success. Having a job gives a young person the opportunity to attain financial security, independence, skill development and a sense of belonging. However, youth unemployment is very high across NSW and this has long-term detriments for those young people, the economy and the wider community. Youth Action made a submission to the Senate Inquiry into jobactive, to represent the voices of young jobseekers. We recommended that the government do more to tackle youth unemployment, especially for marginalised young people.
Understanding how issues affect young people starts with listening to them and hearing their perspectives. Many organisations and stakeholders try to work in the interests of young people without asking their views on the issues that affect them most.
That's why we surveyed 3,400 young people to seek their views on the issues that they care about and which have the greatest impact on their lives.
We overwhelmingly found that young people place a huge value on fairness, equity and equality within Australia. Their attitudes and goals on important issues such as education, employment and housing are most often altruistic and aimed at creating a better society for everyone.
On critical issues young people are seeing widening inequality gaps within society as a whole, between generations and even within their own peer group. They are also overwhelmingly disappointed by government's response to their issues, citing politicians' lack of vision and inability to listen to young people. They feel that governments are not acting in their best interests or the interests of future generations.
Our report, Inequality in Australia: A Young Person's Perspective, provides direct quotes from young people on issues that are having an impact on them.
Youth Action has made three pre-budget submissions to the NSW Government's budget process. These addressed career guidance, youth employment and youth suicide prevention. Our submissions outlined specific recommendations for investments the NSW Government could make in the 2018-19 state budget to improve outcomes for young people.
Download each submission here