as children we all dreamed of what we would be when we grew up; a firefighter, a nurse, a vet or maybe a pilot but sadly for many young australians the prospect of any kind of job is still just a dream.

Short-haired woman in red talking with her deskmate
Short-haired woman in red talking with her deskmate

The unemployment rate for people under 25 in Australia is over double and, in some places, nearly triple the national average. Ass Australians, we should all be ashamed that we have allowed this to happen.

Fresh, bright young talent is eager to embark on a career journey that will last another 40 or 50 years but cannot find an employer willing to give them a go. 

Every day young job seekers are frustrated by the virtuous circle they feel trapped in where they can’t get a job because they don’t have the experience needed, but they can’t get the experience because nobody will give them a job. 

We know that young Australians have an increased likelihood of long-term unemployment, which has the potential to have a social impact on them and an increased chance of depression, substance abuse and involvement in crime. These young people are not faceless individuals who we can ignore; they are our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, grandchildren and family friends.

And the issue of youth unemployment is not confined to certain socioeconomic groups. It is hurting the prospects of all young people, and it hits hardest in rural communities. With young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who have dropped out of the education system, it is also impacting graduates from the leafy eastern suburbs of our cities.

So what’s the solution?

how do we reverse this trend and end this cancer that is eating away the prospects of over a quarter of a million young australians?

A woman working in the office
A woman working in the office

There is no single silver bullet for this complex issue. And it is not one we should sit back on and wait for governments to solve. 

It will require greater access to skills-based training, better career guidance in schools and colleges, and partnerships with businesses to create genuine work experience opportunities that provide fundamental skills. More than anything, it requires jobs. 

The Godfather of Business Strategy, Professor Michael Porter, recently spoke at the World Business Forum in Sydney about how businesses can fore fill their CSR goals by using their "capitalist experience" to solve problems in our communities. As business leaders, we all have an opportunity to implement Porter's philosophy to make a difference in a young person's future by taking a chance and embracing the Aussie spirit of "giving someone a go" and hiring a young person in our business.

Randstad is putting our money where our mouth is and hiring 20 graduates and five interns who will start working with us in early 2015. Still, we are also here to help you connect with young job seekers, whether a full-time or temporary role will give them valuable work experience.

It requires us, the employers of Australia, to be prepared to give a kid a go, be ready to accept that we need to invest in their development and get hands-on to help develop the skills that they will use in our businesses over the coming decades.

Randstad is a Fortune Global 500 Company and one of the world’s largest recruitment & HR services specialists. Spanning over 40 countries, the Randstad Group employs over 550,000 people every day with the aim of ‘shaping the world of work’.

Randstad is passionate about matching people with organisations, as when the right people are in place, it can create enormous potential and business opportunities.

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