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Brotherhood of St Laurence - Working for an Australia free of poverty Brotherhood Update - Research and policy update from the Brotherhood of St Laurence

June 2019

Vocational education and training and the approach to mental health are two policy issues featured in this Brotherhood Update.

New research sheds light on factors affecting young people's transition to work, in Australia and in the United States.

And our work to support fairer energy prices for low-income households and successful settlement for refugees continues.

Please share Brotherhood Update with your colleagues and encourage them to subscribe.

POLICY Reforming VET by understanding young people’s experience

Female animal shelter assistant

TAFEs are well placed to serve as a vital anchor in the vocational education and training sector to provide career guidance, relevant curriculum and industry exposure, and other necessary support for young people.

View the presentation by Shelley Mallett and Diane Brown, The missing piece: anchoring VET in place for young people, to the John Cain Foundation.

POLICY Wider changes needed to improve mental health

Shopping trolley on pier

For Australia to shift the dial on mental illness requires simultaneous action to address poverty and social exclusion. Because these factors predispose people to mental illness and can intensify the experience of it, the Brotherhood has argued for comprehensive reform in responding to the Productivity Commission.

Read our Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into the Social and Economic Benefits of Improving Mental Health (PDF, 143 KB)

RESEARCH Jobless parents and young adults’ transition to work

Research publications

Does parental joblessness delay young adults’ school-to-work transitions? Can a university degree moderate this relationship? Studying 811 American  and 2152 Australian young adults, Matthew Curry and colleagues found that those who had no parent employed were likely to move more slowly from school into employment. However, gaining a degree mitigated the association in Australia only.

Curry, M, Mooi-Reci, I and Wooden, M 2019, ‘Parental joblessness and the school-to-work transition in Australia and the United States’, Social Science Research. Advance online publication: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2019.03.004

RESEARCH Is a universal basic income the way forward for income support?

Cash and calculator

Introducing a 'basic income' may not be the way to reform Australia’s social security, according to Brotherhood researchers Dina Bowman, Shelley Mallett and Diarmuid Cooney-O'Donoghue.

Their chapter 'Diversion ahead? Change is needed but that doesn’t mean that basic income is the answer', appears in E Klein, J Mays & T Dunlop (eds) 2019, Implementing a basic income in Australia: pathways forward, published by Palgrave Macmillan.

MEDIA Victoria’s Budget includes transformative investment

The Victorian Government’s investment in early childhood through universal three-year-old kindergarten is one of the Budget commitments welcomed by the Brotherhood.

Read our response to the Victorian Budget 2019–20