A leading voice in championing the importance of successful transitions for young Australians from school and into jobs has welcomed the announcement by Labor of Youth Jobs Connect as part of a package to get more young people into work.

“This announcement recognises that improving employment outcomes for young Australians is going to require community-wide effort,” said SYC Chief Executive Officer, Paul Edginton.

“There’s a range of activities and initiatives in progress across government, employer and community efforts aimed at improving employment outcomes for young Australians. Government can’t solve Australia’s youth unemployment crisis on its own, but it most certainly can create the framework that brings all of the interested parties together to lift the participation of young people in the workforce,” he continued.

“There’s no doubt that work is the greatest alleviator of a lifetime of poverty. So, frankly, if a young person’s first experience of the world of work is unemployment, then we have failed. We have failed as a community and most critically we have failed that young person,” Mr Edginton said.

SYC has championed the issue of improving youth employment outcomes with its My First Job initiative (www.myfirstjob.com.au) which included the release in October 2014 of a White Paper prepared by a working group of employer, service providers and peak bodies that stepped out a plan for enhancing employment for young people leaving education and joining the workforce.

“For many young Australians, the bridge to gain and sustain employment may not be big, yet the hole that they land in by experiencing unemployment is very deep and challenging to climb out of,” noted Mr Edginton.

“We are heartened to see that some of the elements in Labor’s Youth Jobs Connect package are consistent with the critical program design elements that appear in the My First Job White Paper.”

“There’s no doubt that reducing a stubbornly high youth unemployment rate in Australia will lead to positive economic and social outcomes for our community and I commend anyone who wants to be a part of solving this issue,” Mr Edginton concluded.