Australia’s youth face stalled opportunities and higher costs of living
Young people in Australia are facing difficulties including employability and rising costs for both education and living.
In a recent report by the Brotherhood of St Laurence, an Australian not-for-profit organization fighting poverty, a youth employment campaign spoke of a “Generation Stalled” with young Australians facing a “brutish job scenario” far more difficult than those faced by the parents and grandparents.
In the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008, Australia managed to skirt around its negative effects. But many years on, young people have not felt the benefits of that trend, resulting in further dissatisfaction.
The unemployment level, while not as large as Greece or Spain, still falls well short of acceptable levels. This has affected people between the ages of 16 and 24 with more than 650,000 being unemployed as of February 2017. This has also been exacerbated by insecure jobs, with many positions being part-time without a long-term commitment plan, often within the service sector, which has also seen a large rise since the eighties.
Education has also been subjected to drastic cutbacks. The Australian budget in 2017 saw numerous cuts applied to universities across the country in a bid to save 2.8 billion dollars. This, in turn, has raised tuition fees for students and in other cases has locked some out of applying completely, which results in many young people without skills or qualifications entering better paid jobs.
On top of that, other changes have negatively impacted young people and students more than other age groups, most notably the NewStart employment benefit, which is unavailable for those under 25.
On the whole, despite Australia’s economy facing reduced damage since 2008, young people have not been able to reap the benefits. The blame has been put on the government’s policy, which doesn’t draw a specific plan for the country’s youth, absorbing instead their needs and concerns under welfare politics and provision.