20-year-old student talks about youth unemployment as a major issue


YMCA is asking Australia ‘Why Not,’ on three issues young people have said they want addressed as a priority being youth unemployment, mental health and marriage equality.

Josh Cahill is a 20-year-old student studying at UWA while working part time for YMCA WA in Leederville.

Josh said, “‘I am supportive of the Why Not campaign because as a young person I know how it can feel to be ignored, this campaign is a fantastic way to have our voices heard on a large scale and taken seriously. Through my experience in my local community I’ve often seen the best ideas go unnoticed because people never listened out for them, this sort of platform gives power back to those voices.’

On the issue of youth unemployment, in particular no jobs being available at the end of studies Josh has some strong opinions.

He feels that the lack of job prospects would deter young people from choosing to study, meaning they will miss out on the experiences further education such as university can offer.

Josh said, “It would be a shame to hear people discouraged from further study based on the youth unemployment rate because I think university can create opportunities for young people to be innovative.”

“Through my experience of being at university it provides you with networks, volunteer opportunities such as at YMCA but also other experiences which can help you in your professional capacity later on.”

Josh also has a concern that people generally feel young people are disinterested in finding employment.

He said, “I feel that youth unemployment is a very genuine issue that often is passed over because of the stereotype that young people never work hard enough, that they are lazy, I would say the greatest challenge young people face is having to jump through so many hoops in order to be qualified, with many of these hoops and opportunities never being available to us when we need them most.’

It is also hard for Josh to watch friends finish their studies and not being able to find full time employment.

Josh said, “I have friends who have done everything right, they got the degree, worked in the industry and try to maintain a well-rounded image and still can’t catch a break. That’s the hidden problem, one we rarely talk about and one which we need to fix just as much as any other form of unemployment.”

YMCA WA CEO Ross Kyrwood said: “Young people have and always will shape the future, but only when they are inspired, empowered and heard. We hope that through this campaign YMCA can be the vehicle to highlight important issues that young people care deeply about.”

Visit www.whynot.org.au to find out more on this campaign.

Category: Youth