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Youth homelessness in rural Australia, 2006

Two projects of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI): 70020, Evaluating the Miller Foyer pilot project and 40160, Developing models of good practice in meeting the needs of homeless young people in rural areas, have examined the issues faced by young people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness in Australia.

Some key points:

  • Young people (aged 16–25 years) in rural areas experience homelessness very differently to their urban peers, due to limited employment and education options and inadequate formal support networks.
  • Young people in regional centres prefer to stay in the region rather than access accommodation and emergency services in larger cities or towns, indicating that family and friendship support was essential to their wellbeing – connections that would be lost by relocation to urban services.
  • Gender is particularly significant in the pathway into and experience of homelessness affecting the reasons why young people are at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness and their ability to access services and accommodation. Also affecting young people’s access to services and accommodation are:
    • race
    • sexuality
    • the presence of children and/or pets
    • employment status
    • disability
  • Children and youth who had been placed into the care system are very likely to experience homelessness, particularly in the context of insufficient foster places for vulnerable teenagers.
  • Young people from low-income families who have previously experienced homelessness are more likely to become homeless themselves.
  • Young people are generally not aware of the services, variety of benefits and assistance available to support them before they become homeless, and generally only access assistance through pre-established connections. This is particularly true of young men.

Findings:

  • Young people living in rural areas face many of the challenges confronting urban youth, but are also distinguished by a number of factors that make their experiences of homelessness distinctive including:
    • difficulties in finding employment
    • often expensive, rental housing markets that offer sub-standard housing and often discriminate against youth.


The research shows that there are limited support services in rural areas for young people and those that exist tend to be concentrated in the larger regional centres.
There is a strongly developed sense of community amongst many homeless young people, valuing friendship and support networks and placing considerable priority on staying within a familiar physical environment rather than relocating to metropolitan regions that are perceived by the young people as ‘dangerous’.


Source: AHURI Research & Policy Bulletin, Issue 82, August 2006.
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)
http://www.ahuri.edu.au

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Learning and work situation of young Australians, 2005

How Young People are Faring 2005 is the seventh report in this annual series from the Dusseldorp Skills Forum. It provides point in time data for three main measures of youth participation in learning or work:

  • teenagers not in full-time education and not in full-time employment
  • unemployment rates among young people and 25–54-year-olds
  • young adults who have completed Year 12 or a post-secondary qualification.

Highlights
A key finding of this report is that there is that each year a substantial proportion of young Australians make a poor transition from school to further study and work. Around 15% of 15–19-year-olds are neither in full-time work nor full-time study. Three out of every 10 young Australians has a precarious or negligible attachment to work one year after leaving school. A quarter of Australians aged 18 to 19 are not in full-time education and work. The situation for 20–24-year-olds is similar. And these proportions have been almost unchanged for a decade or so.

15–19-year-olds

  • In May 2005, 85.1% of Australian teenagers were in full-time study or full-time work.
  • 14.9% or 208,400 teenagers were not in full-time education or full-time employment.
  • The proportion of teenagers not in full-time study or full-time work has declined only slightly since the recession of the early 1990s and has been almost unchanged for nearly a decade.
  • A quarter of 18 and 19-year-olds were not in full-time education or full-time employment in May 2005.
  • In May 2004, 80% of teenagers had completed secondary school or a Certificate II or higher, compared with 78% in 2003 and 75% in 2002.

20–24-year-old young adults

  • 24% or 352,500 young adults were not in full-time education and were either unemployed or wanting work, or just working part-time, in May 2005.
  • 51% of young adults had completed a Certificate III or higher, unchanged from 2004 but up from 48% in the preceding two years.

School leavers

  • 84,400 (29% of) teenagers who left school in 2003 were not in study and were either working part-time, unemployed, or not in the labour force in May 2004.
  • 38,000 early school leavers (45% of Year 10 completers and 40% of Year 11 completers) in 2003 were not in study or full-time work in May 2004.
  • Female school leavers are more likely to experience a troubled transition from school than male school leavers despite a higher rate of completing Year 12 and higher participation rates in post-school education.
  • Prospects of work and further education for early school leavers have changed very little in recent years despite the improving economic conditions – 43% of early leavers and 23% of school completers still experienced a troubled transition in 2004.

Employment and training

  • The number of full-time jobs for teenagers has not increased between 1995 and 2005 and for young adults has declined by 10%. Over the same period, full-time jobs for other adults increased by 18%.
  • In May 2005, unemployment rates for Australians aged 15 to 19 years were more than three and a half times higher than for adults aged 25 to 64 years; and
  • unemployment rates for 20–24-year-olds were twice those of adults aged 25 to 64 years.
  • The proportion of teenage apprentices taking up trade apprenticeships has increased markedly from 37% in 2003 to 46% in 2004.
  • 3% of senior secondary students began a School Based New Apprenticeship in 2004.
  • In 2004, nearly 50% of students in Years 11 and 12 were enrolled in a VET in Schools program.
  • Indigenous youth are still educationally disadvantaged.
  • Higher education commencement rates and VET participation rates have declined over the last few years.

Percent of 15–19-year-olds who are not in full-time education or full-time work including and excluding those combining part-time work and part-time study, Australia, May 2004:





Age Not in full-time education or work excluding part-time work and study Not in full-time education or work including part-time work and study

% %
15 2.9 2.9
16 6.1 5.9
17 13.4 12.4
18 27.8 25.8
19 25.9 22.9
15–19 15.4 14.1



Note: Customised table from ABS Education and work, 6227.0.


Source: How young people are faring: Key indicators 2005: An update about the learning and work situation of young Australians,  a report by Dusseldorp Skills Forum
http://www.dsf.org.au/papers/180.htm  [viewed 25/01/2007].

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Learning and work situation of young Australians, 2004

A report from the Dusseldorp Skills Forum updates their 1999 selected indicators on young people's learning and work circumstances and 'attempts to further unpack the impact part-time work might have' on estimates of young people 'at risk'.

15- to 19-year-olds
  • In May 2004, 84.5% of Australian teenagers were in full-time study or full-time work.
  • 15.5% (214,800) were not in full-time education or full-time employment.
  • The proportion of teenagers not in full-time study or full-time study or full-time work has declined only slightly since the recession of the early 1990s and was higher in May 2004 than at any time in the last six years.
  • More than a quarter of 18- and 19-year-olds were not in full-time education or full-time employment in May 2004.
  • The highest proportions of teenagers not in full-time learning or work are in South Australia and Queensland.
  • In May 2003, 78% of teenagers had completed secondary school or a Certificate II or higher (compared with 75% in 2002).
20- to 24-year-olds
  • In May 2004, 22% (309,000) young adults were not in full-time education and were either unemployed or wanting work, or just working part-time.
  • 51% had completed a Certificate III or higher (up from 48% in the preceding two years).
School leavers
  • In May 2003, 27% (78,500) of teenagers who left school in 2002 were not in study and were either working part-time, unemployed, or not in the labour force.
  • 39,000 early school leavers in 2002 (47% of Year 10 completers and 36% of Year 11 completers) were not in study or full-time work in May 2003.
  • Female school leavers are more likely to experience a troubled transition from school than male school leavers despite a higher rate of completing Year 12 and higher participation rates in post-school education.
  • Prospects of work and further education for early school leavers have changed very little in recent years despite the improving economic conditions – 43% of early leavers and 19% of school completers still experienced a troubled transition in 2003.
Source: How young people are faring: Key indicators 2004: An update about the learning and work situation of young Australians, a report by Dusseldorp Skills Forum

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Young Australians not in full-time school or work, 2003

Percentage of teenagers (15-19) not in full-time education or full-time work, May 2003: 14.9%
...18-19-year-olds: 25%
...20-24-year-olds: 23%

States with highest proportions of teenagers not in full-time learning or work: Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.

Number of young people who, 5 months after leaving school, were not in full-time work, or studying: 76,100 (26%)
...Year 10 leavers or below: 49%
...Year 11 leavers: 36%

Source: Curtain, R. 2003, How young people are faring: key indicators 2003, Dusseldorp Skills Forum.
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