Youth Employment Justice Project Launch

WEstjustice has launched Ignorance is NOT bliss - a report on the Youth Employment Justice Project (YEP), together with key stakeholders from government and the community sector.

WEstjustice developed the YEP to address unmet work-related legal need and overcome key employment barriers for young people in Melbourne’s West. It delivered 37 education sessions to around 1,800 young people and free legal advice/assistance to 106 clients. YEP also helped recover over $156,000 owed to young people by employers.

This report provides an insight into the working experiences of young people who live, work and study in Melbourne’s West, along with young international students. It draws on surveys and consultation with young people, as well as data, trends and stories identified through our YEP legal service and education activities.

The report found that young people in Melbourne's West are being:

  • Locked out of work;
  • Exploited by employers; and/or
  • Fired unfairly and unlawfully

The main drivers behind this are:

  • Lack of knowledge about employment rights and responsibilities; and
  • Insecure and unprotected work

Key recommendations include:

  • School-based education in work rights and responsibilities
  • Improved conditions, job security and protections for young people
  • Free legal assistance for young people to exercise work rights
  • The abolition of junior pay rates

Aunty Georgina Nicholson opened the event with a Welcome to Country. She was followed by WEstjustice CEO, Melissa Hardham who introduced YEP and the report. 

Report author, Francesca Lai, presented the report in detail and discussed its key findings and recommendations.

Victorian Minister for Crime Prevention; Corrections; Youth Justice; and Victim Support The Hon Natalie Hutchins MP gave a heartfelt keynote address that highlighted the importance of the YEP report and its recommendations. 

YouthNow CEO, Colleen Bergin, spoke about the importance of providing education and support to young people in the workforce and the need for greater investment in this area.

This project was generously funded by The Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.

You can download the full YEP Report here or visit our website for more information.

 
 

WE are located

  • Footscray
  • Werribee
  • Sunshine
Footscray

Level 1 / 72 Buckley Street, Footscray VIC 3011

Tel: + 61 3 9749 7720
Fax: + 61 3 9749 8276
Email:  admin@westjustice.org.au

Office hours:
Monday to Friday, 9.00am-1.00pm and 2:00pm-5:00pm. (Office currently closed due to COVID-19 situation)

Please call us to get legal help (appointment time needed).

Werribee

Level 1 / 8 Watton Street, Werribee VIC 3030

Tel: + 61 3 9749 7720
Fax: + 61 3 9749 8276
Email:  admin@westjustice.org.au

Office hours:
Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5:00pm. (Office currently closed due to COVID-19 situation)

Please call us to get legal help (appointment time needed).

Sunshine

Visy Cares Hub, 80B Harvester Road, Sunshine VIC 3020

Tel: + 61 3 9091 8237
Fax: + 61 3 9091 8207
Email:  admin@westjustice.org.au

Office hours:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 9.30am-1.00pm and 2.00pm-4.30pm.

Drop-in service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9.30am-4.30pm, for people up to 25 years old ONLY.