Breaking the Cycle of Generational Unemployment

Generations of unemployed families persist in one of the richest countries in the world.
May 9, 2023
Obtaining work can be hindered by employers' bias.

Generations of unemployed or under employed, welfare dependent families still feature in Australia and for young people to escape the cycle, effective interventions are needed.

There are a huge number of job-seekers that are being overlooked due to increasingly unrealistic expectations or prejudiced perceptions.

“Despite a strong desire to work, learn and pursue careers, many face barriers to employment. Breaking the cycle of generational unemployment is incredibly difficult for those willing to enter the workplace but with limited experience,” Malcom Kinns, Chief Executive Officer at Generation Australia says.

“This is due to a number of challenges that continue to exist in throughout the recruitment process, where a hiring bias that includes traditional university pathways are prioritised. We work with our participants, many of whom are ready and willing to work, to ensure they have the right skills and opportunities to secure a sustainable career.”

In June 2022, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed there were 1.4 million jobless families and 8 per cent of young Australians (aged 15-24) were not engaged in education, employment or training.

The truth is, Australians face a multitude of barriers and biases when pursuing employment and some aren’t even given the opportunity to kickstart a career.

“The issue not only lies in systemic gaps in education but an expectation that everyone is ‘job-ready’ - something that simply isn’t realistic.

“People from disadvantaged backgrounds, face an even bigger struggle to enter the job market at all. They can lack support when it comes to preparing for an interview or navigating the workplace in general,” Kinns says.

“Our work with one of the largest philanthropic organisations, Paul Ramsay Foundation, aims to enable opportunities for people facing systemic disadvantage to thrive.

“Together, we’re working towards breaking cycles of disadvantage, providing an opportunity for people who’ve previously faced barriers when they tried to enter the workforce.”

Generation Australia’s current training model supports underrepresented groups including youth, migrants, women, First Nations people and those with a disability.

“Our enrolments show that women are disproportionally impacted by under or unemployment; accounting for 57 per cent of our participants. Furthermore, 52 per cent also have dependents. This demonstrates a critical need for parents to access programs or training to upskill or reskill themselves for a career.

“We take a holistic approach to our programs, taking time to not only teach the technical skills required by participants, but also the key behaviours and mindset needed to succeed in their chosen industry."

Generation Australia ensures graduates are prepared to overcome challenges, focusing on the development of a growth mindset, resilience and communication.

“We teach skills that are relevant beyond entry-level so that graduates can launch a meaningful career in a sector they are passionate about.

“Through extensive consultation with employers in the industry, our demand-led training programs are designed to prepare and support participants into a career in technology and help introduce graduates with employers in the relevant sector."

Backed by McKinsey & Company, the Generation model was created in 2015, aiming to address the barriers many people face when trying to secure employment. As part of this global movement, Generation Australia, was established in 2019, and has been challenging unemployment in Australia, focusing on those who are skilled and motivated to work.

“Through extensive consultation with employers in the industry, our programs are designed to prepare and support participants for a career in technology through an online training ‘bootcamp’. Our programs run for an average of 12 weeks, are full time and are free to eligible participants.”