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Welcome to the My Chance, Our Future Campaign – and the third edition of our Youth Unemployment Monitor.

This regular e-newsletter was launched to draw attention to the latest data and analysis on the epidemic of youth unemployment in Australia.

We are pleased to have an important voice join the discussion. Dr Ken Henry, the respected former Treasury secretary, has written the “Wise Words” column this month. He makes the compelling case to tackle the growing problem of youth unemployment.

The facts are unquestionably alarming. The unemployment rate nationally among those aged 15 to 24 was 12.5 per cent at March – more than double the overall rate of unemployment.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence recently crunched the ABS numbers and found more than 50,000 people aged between 15 and 24 nationwide have now been on the unemployment treadmill for more than 52 weeks. The experience of being young and unemployed in Australia has painfully changed for many. Read our media release > 

As parents, as community members and as a nation, we need to act now to restore hope.

Tony Nicholson, Executive Director

A rapidly rising unemployment rate is only half the story about young people who find themselves jobless in Australia. It’s also taking them a much longer time to find work.

A new analysis by the Brotherhood of St Laurence reveals more than 50,000 people aged between 15 and 24 nationwide have now been on the unemployment treadmill for more than a year.

Unemployment is increasingly far from a ‘passing phase’ for many young people today. Read the report On the treadmill: young and long-term unemployed in Australia >

The distress of young people who can’t find work is sounding a clarion call across Australian society. And it’s not just welfare groups or parents who are wearing furrowed brows.

The new Business Council of Australia president Catherine Livingstone (pictured right) has declared that youth unemployment is "one of the greatest national priorities for government and business to tackle’’.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence believes Australia urgently needs a new approach to assist unemployed youth to build their qualifications, skills and experience to obtain a job in the modern economy.

Brotherhood executive director Tony Nicholson says the Federal Government should move towards establishing a specialist and targeted youth transitions service to help young people secure jobs.

Under the Brotherhood's proposal, jobless youth aged 17–24 would be rapidly referred to a National Youth Transitions Service so that they are actively engaged in an employment preparation and placement program.