Youth Jobs Connect Fact Sheet

Labor will help young people move from unemployment to work through Youth Jobs Connect.

3000 young people who are at risk of life-long employment disadvantage will complete an intensive six month pilot program to help them get and keep a job.

Youth Jobs Connect will provide one-on-one coaching to help young people in areas of high youth unemployment to make realistic decisions about available career opportunities that will work for them, as well as the education and skills they will need to get there. 

Employers have identified that young job seekers are often not job-ready. They need employees who

are reliable, willing to learn and able to fit into the workplace.

Participants will be supported to tackle barriers to employment like literacy and numeracy, homelessness and mental health. In addition, they will also receive training in core employability skills that are necessary to gain employment and participate effectively in the workplace. 

They include skills such as punctuality, communication, self-management, planning, decision making and problem solving.

Importantly, the program will broker opportunities for work experience with local employers so young people get a practical understanding of what employers expect and what career the young person would like to pursue.

There will be a focus on developing strong links with local employers to support employers to take on young people – for work experience, and as employees.

And the young people themselves will receive mentoring and support to find and keep a job.


Youth unemployment is at record levels

Youth unemployment is currently at levels not seen since the mid-1990s. For the last 12 months the average trend unemployment rate for young people looking for full time work has been 15.7 per cent for people 15-24 years old and 28.7 per cent for those 15-19 years old. The average number of young people who are unemployed at any one time is 282,000, including 65,000 aged 15-19.

Labor understands that without a successful transition from study to work, young people will experience life-long employment disadvantage.

The costs to the community of that life-time disadvantage are well known.


Eligibility for Youth Jobs Connect

Youth Jobs Connect will help 3000 young people (under 24) who are not in school or working.

Youth Jobs Connect will be piloted in 15 locations where youth unemployment is above the national average.


Youth Jobs Connect will help young people avoid life-long disadvantage

Youth Jobs Connect will prevent young people from becoming entrenched in unemployment. It will prevent the scarring that is known to occur as a result of youth unemployment that if left unaddressed would lead to life-long employment and social disadvantage.


How Youth Jobs Connect will help young people into work

To successfully tackle youth unemployment we need to assist disadvantaged young people in the transition from school to work, providing them with connections to the workplace through work experience, training in basic employability skills such as punctuality and good manners and coaching and advice on career development.

The proposed policy is based on international evidence, and incorporates best practices from programs that assist in the transition from school to work.  It is informed by experiences in various developed nations and utilizes the work of the OECD and the International Labour Organization.

The proposed model builds on the principles underpinning Youth Connections, a program discontinued by the current Government. A Youth Connections destination study found that over 80 per cent of the participants were in work or study 18 months after finishing the program. Feedback on the ground is that the program was extremely effective. Success was attributed to the strong connections between the program and local institutions and business. 

Mutual obligation will continue to apply to young participants in the program.

In Government, Labor will invite expressions of interest for delivering the program in locations with high youth unemployment.


Labor’s record

Labor is the only party taking unemployment seriously, we are the only party that has a plan to address the youth jobs crisis in this country.

At no stage during the Global Financial Crisis, the most significant global recession since the Great Depression, was the youth unemployment rate as high as it is under the Abbott Government.

Labor instituted a number of successful youth unemployment programs including Youth Connections, Partnership Brokers and Local Employment Coordinators, which have been cut by the Liberal Government.


Liberal’s Record

Not only has the Liberal Government cut successful youth unemployment programs, they’ve also announced changes to Newstart that would have made unemployed people under 30 forced to live for 6 months at a time on nothing. It will sentence young people to a cycle of poverty when they should be getting a hand to find a job.


Financial Implications

Labor’s proposed policy has been costed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office and will have a fiscal impact of $21 million.