The trend toward part-time work for young people is fuelling underemployment, and according to employment services, Ballarat’s youth are feeling the impacts.
One director of employment services at a Ballarat organisation says many young people are looking to take on two or three jobs to make ends meet, while others struggle to gain any form of employment.
A Brotherhood of St Laurence report released on Monday reveals more young people than ever before in Australia are underemployed.
Data shows more than 44 per cent of Australian 20 to 24-year-olds who had a job in October 2018 worked part time, compared to less than 10 per cent 40 years ago.
Young people are also more likely to work part time than older working age groups, just more than 27 per cent of adults 25 years and older worked part-time in October 2018.
While some young people take up part-time work by choice when they are studying, more than 30 per cent who are not studying full-time can only find part-time or casual jobs that do not provide an adequate or secure income.
“This undermines young people’s ability to build strong financial foundations, and can have both short and longer term impacts on their economic security,” the report titled Part-time Purgatory reads.
Centacare Ballarat employer liaison Adam Chandler said casualisation of the workforce was pronounced in Ballarat and most greatly impacting the least experienced job seekers.
To exacerbate the problem for young people, he said fewer employers were prepared to invest the time, effort and money in training new employees on the job.
Centacare Ballarat operations manager employment services Rose Scown said a new federal government job trial incentive program had helped many young Ballarat job seekers transition to full-time work.
The Youth Jobs PaTH program provides $1000 to employers to help cover the costs of a job trial and the young person on trial is paid $200 a fortnight on top of income support by the government.
“Around 76 per cent of our job seekers who have participated in a trial have converted it into a full-time job,” Ms Scown said.
“We had a male job seeker who was 21-years-old, Indigenous and had a police record. An employer chose to give him a go at full-time work after he went through the internship process – he is a great success story.”
Mr Chandler said young job seekers in Ballarat were also facing barriers in gaining apprenticeships.
“Most employers want to hire under 21-year-olds who have a car. It is hard to afford to buy a car when you are not working,” he said.
“And there are barriers for 21 to 25-year-olds who want to move into an apprenticeship. An employer has to pay adult wages so the incentives for training as far as wages go disappears.”
Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Conny Lenneberg said young people needed a coordinated approach to employment assistance.
“As a start, it’s time for policymakers to offer all jobhunters aged 15 to 25 a specialist youth employment service rather than the nation’s still fragmented response,” she said.