One in three young people (26 and under) are either unemployed or underemployed in Australia. Our youth rate for unemployment is at its highest in 40 years, and the Newstart allowance for young job seekers has not increased in over 25 years, even though our cost of living has gone up. To top it all off, a recent study found there are only two rental properties currently on the market that a person on income allowance from the government can afford. At the same time, internship programs that are funded by the tax payer are leading to vulnerable young people being paid an abysmal $4 an hour while big business like Hungry Jacks use these programs to fill what would otherwise be actual paid job vacancies.
How’s a young person to catch a break if they don’t have the privilege of living with their parents, volunteering and interning for months or years to gain experience for the workplace and not needing to worry about meeting basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter? In this episode, Caspar speaks with 26 year old, Co-Executive Officer of the National Youth Commission Australia (NYC), Alex McLean who is working to uncover and solve some of these big challenges for young people in Australia.
Alex is a passionate advocate of youth rights and development, as well as diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She also has a love of science with a background in epidemiology, the study of infectious diseases.
Caspar and Alex binge on all things youth development in Australia, the issues coming out of the NYC’s current inquiry into youth employment, and what drives Alex in all her work.