Many young people successfully navigate their way from education to employment and independence, but many get left behind.

This Inquiry by the National Youth Commission Australia (NYCA) was prompted by our concern that an increasing number of young people are struggling to make this transition. It also addresses the lack of any major initiative by Australian governments to investigate and address these escalating problems. Australia’s future well-being and standard of living will depend critically on the next generation of young people. 

This is why we have launched the Youth Futures Guarantee – a roadmap towards building a secure, equitable and prosperous future for young people, and all members of Australian society.


Why we need the YFG:


The economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will exacerbate many of the challenges facing young people today. Deterioration of the labour market and projected sharp increases in youth unemployment and underemployment will add to the long-standing structural obstacles that have prevented too many young people from making a successful transition from school to work.

As governments and businesses grapple with a long-term economic downturn and associated increase in unemployment, there is a high risk that a growing number of young people will lose contact with the labour force. Long periods out of the workforce result in the atrophy of vocational skills and a loss of confidence. Even after economic growth begins to return in Australia, many small businesses may be unable to take advantage of the recovery.

The labour market challenges facing young people are complex, and each person’s needs will be affected by various factors of their background that intersect. Responses must be informed by understanding such multi-dimensional circumstances, which can work either to strengthen or undermine successful transitions from education to work.

Throughout the NYCA inquiry some clear messages were reiterated over and over about the key foundational pillars required for young people to transition successfully through these critical stages in their lives: from school to further education and training, from education and training to a working life, and into independent living.

We propose that Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments agree to commit to – and resource – a Youth Futures Guarantee built on these nine pillars. This would call for a wide range of activities and interventions to address the range of factors negatively impacting on young people’s transition to independence. A critical factor will be the alignment and coordination of investment in training, skills and employment policies and programs to enable all young people to reach their full potential.


The Nine Pillars of the Youth Futures Guarantee:


Image of nine parallel multi-coloured ovals with text in each one

Explore the reforms and initiatives proposed in the Youth Futures Guarantee that will support young people meet the great challenges of the future, and contribute your feedback to us as we continue to develop a new deal for all young people in Australia. 

If you have feedback on the Youth Futures Guarantee, please email us at

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