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March 2023

Welcome to the March 2023 issue of Youth Field Xpress!

As you can see, our news briefing and website have undergone a big facelift, and from now on we’ll be bringing you YFX in a bolder, brighter and more accessible format. All our news stories can now easily be shared with colleagues and contacts, making it simpler for you to exchange ideas and keep others abreast of the latest in the youth sector. You’ll also notice that YFX is now published a little later – the last Thursday of the month.

You will find all our news stories listed under six main headings: Wellbeing, Youth work & the sector, Transition & work, Home & safety, Inclusion & rights, and Engagement & opportunity. If you are on our email distribution list, you will still receive an email each month alerting you that YFX has been published. We welcome your feedback on the new-look YFX!

This week ACYS has also launched its latest Face the Facts package, Growing youth employment; you can read more about that below. But we are sure you’ll agree that it is an important and impressive addition to our expanding list of youth sector resources.

Our Face the Facts package on entrepreneurship, which explores ways to get more young people into meaningful employment, comes at an apposite time. This month’s issue of YFX contains stories that look to the future for young people, and recognise that the employment paradigm has changed for them, and that they will need support to weather this transition.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL), in its important report The teenage dream unravels: Trends in youth unemployment, finds that the high youth unemployment rate (14.2% in January) reflects the fact that Australia’s young people are in the eye of a ‘social and economic storm’ that requires new thinking to come out safely on the other side. BSL has called for a national Youth Transitions Service to be implemented, similar to the pilot that BSL runs in outer Melbourne (see ‘Transition & work’).

Commenting on the recent review of the welfare system (known colloquially as the ‘McClure review’ after its lead author), the country’s peak youth bodies have called upon the Australian Government to ‘design a comprehensive youth jobs plan’ because they recognise that the situation for young people is much harder and more complicated than it ever was in the past (see ‘Youth work & the sector’).

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has also made a strong plea for the government to invest in effective programs to help young people into jobs, and to abandon a scheme that would see young people up to the age of 30 receive no financial support for six months at a time if they are out of work (see ‘Transition & work’).

And the 2023 Intergenerational report (see ‘Youth work & the sector’) looks to the economic future for Australia, but does not appear to have made much mention of Australia’s young people, who will be hugely affected by the growing cohort of older Australians, whom they will need to support, and some of whom they will be competing for work against as Australians work longer – sometimes into their seventies. Again, ACOSS has asked that the government take young people into account in its planning.

On a positive note, the strategy called Work Integrated Learning (WIL), a joint initiative between Universities Australia and industry groups, is forward-looking and recognises the fact that the world of work has changed for young people, and that even uni graduates need to be better prepared for their future roles by obtaining practical workplace experience (see ‘Transition & work’).

In addition, this week sees the end of the search for young people’s big ideas in the Foundation for Young Australians’ Innovation Nation program. FYA realises that some of the best ideas for the future will come from young people themselves, but that these young people need a helping hand to get their ideas started. Coincidentally, the 2023 Social Enterprise Awards close this week, and winners will be announced next month. These awards acknowledge the growing importance of social enterprises to the Australian economy; these are businesses that employ or assist large numbers of young Australians.

On top of our news stories we have our usual monthly round-up of conferences, our listing of recently published books and The Sector, which this month shines the spotlight on Naked Ambition, an organisation that works to support the careers of young professional women.

Happy reading!


New ACYS Face the Facts resource launched

Today, the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies (ACYS) released its latest Face the Facts briefing: Growing youth employment. This briefing focuses on the strategy that the way to grow sustainable employment opportunities for young people is not just to find jobs but to create jobs through commercial and social entrepreneurship.

With analysis of international evidence and good practice, featuring case studies and links to further resources and thought pieces, the Growing youth employment package offers policymakers, practitioners working with young people and researchers an analysis of how commercial and social entrepreneurship can create new employment and provide learning and engagement opportunities suited to young Australians.

It also features interviews with a young unemployed person and a number of representatives from organisations working to empower young people to transition away from welfare payments into sustainable employment.

The message that the Growing youth employment package clearly presents is that for employment services to successfully support young people in transitioning from education to work a partnership approach is needed to bring together all stakeholders to develop goals, approaches, outcomes and investment strategies.

Visit Face the Facts: Growing youth employment

The new ACYS website

As you can see, we have a new look for the ACYS website.  And although we're rather proud of our good looks, the changes are more than just cosmetic. Our new site offers improved searching, topic tags to get you quickly to related resources, and streamlined navigation, all of which make it easy to find the information you need. We've also added a feature that enables you to share ACYS items on social media and an improved calendar that lets you see the events you're interested in. But most of all, you'll notice that we've made news a feature of the site, so you can keep up to date every day with the latest happening in the Australian youth sector. We're all about making information easier to get and more interesting to read.

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An Asperger’s guide to entrepreneurship: Setting up your own business for professionals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Rosalind A Bergemann
ISBN 9781849055093
Format Paperback
Cost £19.99

Entrepreneurship can be an ideal career option for enterprising individuals with Asperger Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder). This detailed guide explains how to tell if being self-employed is right for you and how to go about starting and growing your own business. The unique strengths that Asperger leaders can bring to a new business venture are highlighted and solutions are offered for elements of entrepreneurship that can create stumbling blocks such as developing working relationships within your company, marketing yourself and your business, managing finances, networking and maintaining a healthy work–life balance. Written by a successful entrepreneur and business consultant with Asperger Syndrome, this book is full of pragmatic advice, case studies from established business owners with Asperger Syndrome and practical tools for professional development. 

232 pp., published October 2014

Generation jobless? Turning the youth unemployment crisis into opportunity

Peter Vogel
ISBN 9781137375933
Format Hardcover
Cost £22.99

Generation jobless? uniquely explores the characteristics of both today's and tomorrow's youth and the causes of the youth unemployment crisis. The book, by Swiss entrepreneur Peter Vogel, takes a global, multi-stakeholder perspective to showcase proven solutions to tackle the crisis. Featuring interviews and input from business leaders, policymakers, educators, entrepreneurs and the ‘Next Generation’ itself, it offers a positive and constructive look at change by directing each group to become part of the solution and in particular youth to take on responsibility for themselves and their peers by turning into job creators rather than job seekers.

278 pp., hardcover, published March 2023

Understanding adolescents for helping professionals

Avidan Milevsky
ISBN 9780826125064
Format Paperback
Cost US$75.00

Adolescence is a distinct and complex stage of development, and successful interventions with this population require an in-depth understanding of the many forces affecting them. This is a practical, thorough, yet concise survey of adolescent development for early-career professionals in psychology, mental health counselling, social work, marriage and family therapy, education and nursing. Based on in-depth theoretical and empirical understanding of adolescent physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development, the text demonstrates how this knowledge can be applied immediately to treating adolescents in any setting. Readers will come away with a deep theoretical and empirical understanding of adolescent development, as well as how to apply and implement these concepts in any adolescent or adolescent-related mental health setting.

232 pp., published December 2014

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