This report from the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Australian Federation of Disability Organisations and Western Sydney University examines the development of the partial capacity to work classification and its impact on the lives of individuals and their households. The report finds that the partial capacity to work category is failing many people experiencing vulnerability, necessitating urgent reform, and contains eight recommendations for change.
Don’t take it as read: Inquiry into adult literacy and its importance
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training has released its report on adult literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills in Australia. It includes an examination of the benefits of investing in adult language, literacy, numeracy and digital literacy skills to assist parents to support their children’s education. The report makes 15 recommendations.
Inquiry into access to TAFE for learners with disability
The Legislative Assembly Economy and Infrastructure Committee has released its report examining access to TAFE for learners with disability in Victoria. The inquiry found that increasing awareness of what is available and raising learners’ aspirations can encourage access to TAFE for people with disability. It also found that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the Victorian Government’s free TAFE scheme have seen increased numbers of people with disability enrolled in TAFE. The report makes 44 recommendations.
Life, disrupted: Young people, education and employment before and after COVID-19
The Monash University Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice has released this report exploring the relationship between education and work and the contextual factors that shape education and work for young people in Australia. The report finds that the disruptions caused by the pandemic have magnified existing social issues, such as job insecurity, erosion of worker rights and shifting career identities, which have led to significant challenges for young people. The report discusses the implications of these social issues for educational providers.
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand has released this report examining a cohort of people they have deemed ‘the new vulnerable’. This group experienced negative employment impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic that affected their household finances, resulting in many seeking support services for the very first time. Survey and interview data found that despite the level of need, this cohort found it difficult to seek support, with some respondents expressing reticence because they believed there were others in greater need. The findings suggest that levels of need are likely to persist for some time and attention must focus on addressing barriers to service access.
Youth Work Matters Social Return on Investment Study
The Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to conduct a social and economic return on investment (SROI) to understand the impact of youth work in Victoria and strengthen the evidence base to inform policy decisions. The report covers mental health and wellbeing, education and employment, housing, and interaction with the justice system, and highlights the crucial role that youth work plays in improving the lives of young people in Victoria.
‘I Had to Take a Casual Contract and Work One Day a Week’: Students’ experiences of lengthy university placements as drivers of precarity
This article, published in Work, Employment and Society, presents the results of a survey of social work students at an Australian university who undertook a lengthy unpaid placement as part of their study. The study shows that these students faced increased workforce precarity and it also created major restrictions on their ability to work while studying. Further findings are detailed in this article.