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Policy report

Averting an escalating labour market crisis for young people in Australia: a proposed national Job Cadet program

Skilled workforce Apprenticeships Labour market Vocational education and training Youth Australia

Since the global financial crisis (GFC), young people have been facing a particularly challenging labour market compared with other age groups, characterised by higher levels of unemployment and underemployment than in the previous decade and relative difficulty in obtaining jobs.

Not only is it increasingly difficult for young people to find paid work, but evidence shows that it is also increasingly challenging for young people who obtain qualifications to move readily into employment that takes full advantage of the knowledge and skills they developed during their studies. There is evidence that this problem is ameliorated in circumstances where young people gain relevant employment experience alongside their education and training.

This paper makes the case for a national Job Cadet program to avert an escalating labour market crisis for young people in Australia.

Like the apprenticeship system, a key feature of the proposed cadetships is that they would combine an employment contract with formal education and training. The cadetships however, would substantially increase the range of occupations and industries in which such arrangements apply.

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