Data from the 2016 Census show that Indigenous youth (aged 15–29 years) are less likely to be employed or studying than their non-Indigenous counterparts. The employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth increases in the years immediately following the end of compulsory schooling, and continues to widen into the 20s. Indigenous youth are also more likely to work in part-time, casual and unskilled jobs than non-Indigenous youth. The situation for young Indigenous women is markedly worse than for men, even though educational participation and attainment are similar. These early labour market experiences are likely to have both immediate and ongoing effects, reducing income and wealth accumulation, and impeding future labour market success. However, there are signs of improvement in the labour market situation for Indigenous youth, particularly in nonremote areas. Between 2011 and 2016, increases in educational participation and employment saw fewer Indigenous youth disengaged from work and study. Growing educational attainment is likely to further improve employment rates because Indigenous youth who have completed Year 12 have far better outcomes in the labour market than early school leavers.
SOURCE: Venn, D. “Indigenous Youth Employment and the School-to-Work Transition.” Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Issue no. 6, 2018.
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