In 2012 a quarter of Australians aged 18-24 were not studying, learning new skills or working, according to the COAG Reform Council. In the same year, our teenagers were three times more likely to be unemployed than adults.

Youth living in areas of high disadvantage are particularly at risk of disengaging from work or study. If a young man or woman comes from a home where neither parent works, they are less likely to have the family contacts to land that all-important first job. And, without the financial means to access further training they face a double barrier.

Electricians doing work

Mission Australia has several ways of supporting teenagers who are not earning or learning. We offer structured work experience, mentoring and certified training to give them an idea of what employers expect and the skills they need to get a start.

For rural job seekers a car is essential, so we help young people with limited means to gain their driver’s license and get on the road to independence and job-readiness. We also use art, music and fun, culturally relevant activities to help young people return to school or move into training.

Mission Australia believes there should be greater investment in school-based programs that prepare young people for work, plus ongoing support for teenagers once they land a job.

Youth Social Enterprises

Mission Australia runs social enterprises that help young people to gain the skills and workplace experience they need to find and keep a job.

Social enterprises are simply businesses that make enough money to continue to trade while helping the local community. So the focus is on social outcomes rather than profit.

Our Charcoal Lane restaurant and Synergy car repair business – both in Victoria – provide young people with a real taste of working life as well as certified training.

Apart from giving them the skills that can lead to steady emploment these social enterprises also support youth to overcome the challenges that so often accompany disadvantage.

Social enterprises

Find out more about Mission Australia's Annual Youth Survey, or download our research into young people.

Support for young people

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These organisations also offer health and wellbeing support for young people:

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Purpose - 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'