Creating a NEET Fit: The Youth Futures Guarantee reforms promising a new deal for young people

Aug 26, 2020

As part of the Youth Futures Summit launched on 24th August 2020, the National Youth Commission released interim findings on an inquiry into Youth Employment and Transitions – an intergenerational community discussion about the challenges faced by young people not engaged in education, employment and training (NEET).


The study explores why increasing numbers of 14 to 24-year-olds are struggling to make the transition from education to employment and independence.  Ideas for reform, released at the summit as a ‘Youth Future’s Guarantee’ discussion paper, present a framework to support young people to meet the challenges of the future.

Despite Australia’s apparent prosperity, trend reports and analyses indicate prospects for young people have been steadily decreasing, with COVID-19 set to further exacerbate the situation. The discussion paper aims to inspire and inform a community conversation around the current obstacles facing young Australians. It calls on governments to resource activities and interventions based on nine key pillars identified as the foundations of successful transition to independence:


  • Education and Training

  • Job Creation and Links to Employers and Industry

  • Employment Services

  • Fair Pay and Income Security

  • Climate Justice

  • Housing

  • Health and Wellbeing

  • Transport

  • Local Community Support Ecosystems


80% of the young people who seek support from Brisbane Youth Service describe their living situations as unsafe, unsuitable, temporary, over-crowded or unaffordable at the time of intake. BYS experience firsthand how difficult it is for vulnerable young people to engage in education, employment and/or training when their basic housing needs are not met.

The discussion paper includes specific recommendations addressing housing security, including prevention of youth homelessness, access to safe and affordable housing, support to meet rental costs and increased links to improve learning, earning, and the things that make life happy and healthy for young people.


Positive outcomes for young people benefit all Australians. This report has highlighted that creating incentives to learn and earn, not only improves happiness and wellbeing for the individual, it has flow on effects for the economy and reduces risk and associated longer-term costs of poverty, ill-health, mental illness and crime. – Brisbane Youth Service CEO, Annemaree Callander.

Given the future wellbeing of Australia depends on the next generation of young people, it is imperative that the nation bands together to mitigate a lapse in action by Australian governments and form a course of action to address these escalating problems. The National Youth Commission has called on all Australians to contribute to a new vision for young people post-Covid-19 – “it is everybody’s problem, and everyone needs to be contributing’’.


Join Brisbane Youth Service CEO Annemaree Callander discussing how we can support young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) as part of the ‘Creating a NEET Fit’ panel this Thursday 27th August at 2pm. For more information and session tickets visit: