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A whacking stick is not enough to get young people into work

Kristy Muir, Abigail Powell and Rose Butler argued in The Conversation (193.15) that the Abbott government’s policies to provide incentives to make young people want to work does not address the key issue – people who want to work but are not competitive in the job market, and the lack of job vacancies, not to mention ensuring jobs that are appropriate and accessible for young people.

‘The obvious response to make young people more competitive is to increase their education and skills. Traditionally, the more education you receive, the better chance you have of getting a job. As unemployment has gone up, the national Year 12 attainment rate for 20-24 year olds has risen from 78% in 2001 to 85% in 2011.

‘Education still matters. But as unemployment has risen, so too has the level and length of education needed to make someone employable. Today’s labour market is also highly casualised and often insecure, which means getting a job is not the same as keeping a decent job.’

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