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The Youth Coalition asked parties and independent candidates about their policies on employment. We asked:
- How will you address youth unemployment and underemployment in the ACT?

The full responses we received from parties and independent candidates are below. 
Click here to download the short snapshot of their policies on employment.

ACT Greens

Meaningful and secure work can make a big difference to a young person – it promotes social inclusion, better health and improved self-esteem. That's why the Greens are concerned that youth unemployment is becoming a hidden crisis across Australia, with consistently higher rates of unemployment for young people than other age groups.
We need to make sure that young people have access to meaningful work in stable industries by investing in the jobs of the future – research and innovation are both industries set to grow in the ACT. We also need to fight attacks on universities and vocational education, or we will risk leaving a generation unskilled and out of work.
The Greens are also committed to standing up for the rights of young people in the workplace. Discrimination against can lead a young person to be underemployed, underpaid, or unfairly stood down. Young people are entitled to be treated as equals in the workplace, and the Greens will stand up for that rights.

ACT Labor

Canberra has one of the lowest rates of youth unemployment in Australia but we know there is much more still to do. Over the past five years the ACT Labor Government has helped to add more than 5,000 total jobs to the local economy.

Education is a crucial part of addressing youth unemployment and underemployment. We know that completing school to go to university isn’t for everyone. Skilled trades are the lifeblood of a strong economy and community. Our vocational training must keep pace with rapidly changing technology, and properly prepare young people to take on the jobs of a new economy. This year our funding for vocational education will reach $140 million. Work is underway on a new Tuggeranong CIT campus to provide a modern education hub in the Tuggeranong town centre. 

Canberra Liberals

The Canberra Liberals wholeheartedly believe that young people are better off in work than not wherever possible. At its heart, the issue comes down to the connection between young people and prospective employers. We will look to foster relationships between the two groups and will consult widely on how best to get more young people into work. It could be achieved through the help of dedicated community organisations who require further support or even through government itself. Further strengthening pathways between school, CIT, apprenticeships and other vocational training is the key to ensuring young people have the best options to gain skills.

It’s essential the next government focuses on this issue. 

Independent Candidates

Joel McKay, Independent Candidate for Brindabella

The ACT has one of the lowest rates of youth unemployment in Australia. However, the statistic is steadily increasing. Youth unemployment has risen from 11.3 per cent in January 2015, to 11.7 per cent in January 2016. The next ACT Government must take pro-active steps to ensure youth unemployment remains at the lowest level possible.

In order to address the issue of youth unemployment, the Government must investigate measures for encouraging large and small businesses to assist. To incentivise larger businesses, the Government could investigate payroll tax concessions for companies that employ a certain number of people aged between 16 and 25. 

To encourage smaller businesses, the Government could look at providing financial incentives to create jobs and hire job seekers for full-time positions. In Tasmania, the State Government previously provided eligible businesses a $1000 grant for each full time job created. The ACT Government could mirror this proposal and tailor it specifically to small businesses that provide full-time positions for people aged 16 and 25. Whatever the solution, the ACT Government must ensure that businesses are incentivised to help address the issue of youth unemployment. 


The above information was provided by the parties and/or candidates listed, and authorised for publication on this website by Emma Robertson, Youth Coalition of the ACT