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Australia is failing its young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Youth unemployment continues to be a major issue. In January 2018, the youth unemployment rate was more than double the national average. In some areas, youth unemployment is over 25%. Finding work is more competitive than ever before. Around 30% of young people want more work but can’t find it (i.e. are under- or un-employed). It currently takes a young Australian on average 4.7 years from leaving full-time education to full-time work. Education is not preparing young people for work. Careers education is not properly funded and varies widely from non-existent to poor. In addition, automation is a growing concern. In the next decade, it is predicted that over 40% of current jobs, up to 60% in regional areas, will be automated. Unemployment, particularly at a young age, has significant negative impacts on an individual’s health and wellbeing, as well as economic costs to society. Beacon is working to revolutionise school education to make it more relevant, engaging and useful. Since being established in Tasmania in 1988, Beacon has grown into a national non-profit organisation working across Australia. We work with the whole community, including schools, business and industry, to co-design education programs that provide secondary school students with real-world experience, practical skills, support and inspiration to move onto further education and/or future employment.

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