There are now more than 250,000 unemployed Australians between the age of 15 to 24. That's 50,000 more than 10 years ago. Despite the strength of our state economy, there are 60,000 unemployed young job seekers in NSW alone.

These are sobering figures. And even more so when you consider the long running and well publicised concerns of employers regarding skill shortages. In NSW there are currently 67,000 recorded job vacancies, 25,000 of which only require a Certificate I, II or III (without work experience) and/or the completion of secondary education.

It’s critical our education system, employment programs and the business community work more collaboratively to provide the training and incentives necessary to tackle what is now a youth unemployment crisis. 

Calling on policy makers

NSW Business Chamber, in a submission to the Australian Government, has recommended a greater focus on measures that enable an integrated transition from school to the workforce. The submission calls for employment programs like jobactive to extend incentives for service providers to collaborate with schools, the business community and careers advisers in preparing students for employment.

What we need to do

Students and parents need more up to date information on employment trends and career opportunities, and in particular, guidance on industry trends aligned to student interests and capabilities.

Tackling youth unemployment by improving the performance of our education systems and employment programs must, at its core, place employment outcomes as priorities one, two and three.

Unfortunately, we are talking about 230,000 young Australians who have been short-changed by rigid and antiquated system and programs. There is now a real risk that we will see more than a quarter of a million 15 to 24 year olds claiming unemployment benefits each year unless we focus attention on this issue. 
To learn more about what NSW Business Chamber is doing to support youth employment, check out our productivity bootcamp initiative.
In NSW there are currently 67,000 recorded job vacancies, 25,000 of which only require a Certificate 1, II or III