Two pre-existing problems in the economy are high levels of youth unemployment and an increasing shortage of care workerswrites David Speers at ABC Insiders.
Youth unemployment currently sits at more than 15 per cent. The demand for trained care workers is forecast to rise by 18 per cent in the coming years as the population ages and more Home Care places are rolled out.
These are not easy problems to fix, but there’s clearly a potential to steer more young unemployed Australians into caring careers. As it turns out, the strongest supply of young jobseekers just happens to be in the same areas as the greatest demand for care workers.
YMCA Australia, now known as the “Y”, has crunched the numbers and found exactly where the correlation is strongest. In the South Australian seat of Spence, held by Labor’s Nick Champion, more than 6,000 young people are out of work, while the demand for care workers is forecast to grow by nearly 3,800.
In Stuart Robert’s seat of Fadden, youth unemployment sits at nearly 4,800, with demand for care work set to grow by about 3,000.
In the marginal seat of Longman, the numbers sit at more than 4,000 young unemployed and a shortage of more than 3,700 care workers forecast.
In all, the “Y” has identified 42 priority hot spots where it’s proposing a fix. Already one of the largest employers of young people in Australia, the organisation wants to trial a new approach of training young workers in these sites to begin caring careers.
It’s willing to commit $40 million in wages and is seeking nearly $12 million from the Government for infrastructure along with access to the existing wage and apprentice subsidies. If given the green light, 1,500 young Australians would have a job in January and a pathway to a career in caring.