Australia’s growing youth unemployment rate and the issues young people face in securing and maintaining their initial jobs is an important issue to SYC, which is why we established the My First Job Initiative in 2012 with the aim to bring greater awareness to this issue. In September 2012 the teenage unemployment rate was 25.1%, this had grown by July 2014 to 29.7%.

Through SYCs work with young people and our advocacy on youth employment issues, SYC knows youth unemployment is a national issue, requiring a national approach. Collaboration is key and therefore a nationally focused My First Job Working Group was established in 2014, made-up of representatives from SYC, The Smith Family, Group Training Australia, Jobs Australia, the Commonwealth Department of Employment along with employers Coles, McDonald’s and Westpac.

Through a six month process in 2014, the Working Group produced the My First Job White Paper, Improved Job Outcomes for Young People: A Plan for enhancing Employment Services for young people leaving education and joining the workforce. This White Paper provides a framework for positive engagement of young people and employers for positive employment outcomes. It was presented to Assistant Minister for Employment, Hon Luke Harstuyker MP, at a dinner at the National Press Club in October.

The Working Group has committed to continuing its work to date in a Stage 2 process, establishing a network of organisations with an interest in youth employment including employers who are already making a positive impact by supporting young people transition successfully from education to employment.

If you would like further information about the work of the My First Job Working Group or information about joining the network please contact Lauren Dimas, Head of Partnerships, or 0478 404 457.

The My First Job White Paper is available on