Compounding Vulnerability? Young Workers' Employment Concerns and the Anticipated Impact of the WorkChoices Act
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This paper draws on quantitative data from the Young Workers Advisory Service (YWAS), an organisation that provides information, advice, and advocacy to young workers across Queensland. Since its inception in 2002 YWAS has recorded 4,769 inquiries from young people up to the age of 25, the most frequent being (i) dismissal/redundancy; (ii) problems with pay/remuneration; (iii) issues with employment conditions (e.g., working hours, AWAs, award conditions); and (iv) workplace bullying. Further cross-tabs and qui-square analysis of these categories reveals different types of youth (by gender, age, occupation, job status and industry) who are most vulnerable. In examining the findings, particular attention is drawn to the recent regulatory change in Australia's labour market as manifest in the 2005 WorkChoices legislation. It is argued that the youth are vulnerable in employment, and that this vulnerability will only be aggravated in a deregulated employment environment.