1,000 driven young jobseekers, alongside experts including journalists, researchers, employers and employment service providers, came together at Sydney’s International Convention Centre recently to talk about tackling youth unemployment post-COVID-19.
In an opening speech by The Assistant Minister for Youth & Employment Services, the Hon Luke Howarth MP, he said how it was ‘no secret that Australia’s young people have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19 when it comes to jobs’, before going on to explain ‘that’s why the Government is determined to make sure young jobseekers get all the support they need when it comes to training, ensuring job readiness and connecting with employers.’
A panel of young workers then talked about the challenges they had been through finding work and the importance of drawing on as much help and support as possible. William Miller, who was assisted into an apprenticeship with ARA Mechanical by Asuria, said: ‘It’s easy to look at all the things that stand in your way, but what matters is keeping going as long as it takes to get where you want to be’.
Joining him on the panel, Asuria Team Leader Brittany Mills said of her experience losing her job and then finding a new role with Asuria: ‘One day everything’s normal and you’re getting up each day to do something you love and then the next day it’s gone. What helped me through that tough period and into a new job in a different industry I’m now embracing has been the support of other people going through a similar thing to me.’
In a second panel session, business leaders and employment support specialists talked to the crowd about the opportunities for young people in the current job market, along with advice on how to get noticed, with Dean Long, CEO of the Accommodation Association of Australia, saying: ‘The accommodation industry is all about creating opportunities for young people. If you want a job, we’ve got one for you and there’s nothing stopping you from following a career all the way to the top.’
Rounding up the afternoon of questions, conversation and career advice, Asuria Chairman, Con Kittos, took to the stage to thank everyone for their valuable contributions, saying: ‘This conversation has been crucial for me and the entire Asuria team, and my promise to you all is that we will respond to everything you have told us.
Every one of you has something valuable to offer employers and you have our word that we will do everything in our power to continue to open employers’ eyes to your potential.’
At the end of the day, all young jobseekers in attendance were invited to visit a physical and online jobs board to respond to live employment opportunities.