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About the YRC

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How is the Australian Youth Research Centre Funded?

Research is funded through grants from public and private sources. This funding is provided on specific terms for particular projects or purposes. Recent funding sources have included:
  • Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care
  • National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
  • Australian Research Council (ARC)
  • Victorian Education Foundation (VEF)
  • Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA)
  • Victorian Department of Education, Employment and Training
  • Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC)
AYRC Research Program

The Centre's research program is organised around the main theme of Youth Agency/Life Patterns.

Research and Consultancies produce:
  • publications and policy advice
  • professional development and training
  • products and services
The research and community based projects are concerned with how young people establish a livelihood and participate as adults in Australian society. Projects focus on the interaction of class, gender and race and the strategies for readdressing the imbalance of power inherent in social inequality.

AYRC Major Research Streams

Post-Compulsory Education and Training

Transition Pathways encompasses research which informs policy and practice in relation to the processes where young people achieve adult status through education and training. This research program has developed expertise in the analysis of longitudinal research on the pathways which young people take up during the years after they leave schooling. Early school leavers have been a central focus. The experiences young people have of Technical and Further Education is also being explored. In addition to the exploration of empirical issues about young people's pathways, the program takes a critical approach to policy documents and reports on young people's education and training options and experiences. The development of national policy for post-compulsory education and training has been the subject of specific research projects and theoretical studies in professional journals.

Personal and Social Identity

This research program has emerged from the Centre's work as a distinctive area of research. There are many issues central to understanding the transitions to independence which have both a personal and a powerful social dimension, related to the ways in which young people use their bodies, and the impact that economic and political changes have on their personal relationships. Projects focus on policy implications of the personal dimensions of young people's lives, and on the development of strategic approaches, such as harm minimisation, which have application in educational programs. For example, although sexually transmitted diseases are prevalent amongst the young (sexually active) population, the implications for young women's health and their future lives are slow to be recognised in youth health policy and practice and in secondary education. The Centre's work in this area has pointed out the social barriers to implementing harm minimisation through safer sexual practices. The Centre's Alcohol Education Project involves the implementation of a harm minimisation approach to alcohol education in secondary schools.

Young Workers

This research program was initiated in 1992. It has explored the implications of industry and economic restructuring on the experiences and practices of young workers and on their prospects for achieving a livelihood. In particular, the program has filled a gap in researching the circumstances and experiences of young people in full time work. Although one of the most fundamental changes to the youth labour market has been the dramatic increase in part time work, full time work continues to be available for some. Their place in the new industrial scene has been, until recently, relatively ignored. Research in this program involves the monitoring of changes in the youth labour market, developing an understanding of the impact of new technologies on young people's work, the significance of award restructuring and training for the conditions under which young people work, including their career options and the impact of new forms of workplace organisation. Given the closer relationship between work and education that is being forged through the new education and training agenda in Australia, this research program will continue to have significance in the work of the Centre.
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