AN army of young Australians “unwilling to work’’ spends the day sleeping, watching TV or playing computer games — meet the NEETs.
An Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report says Australia now has 580,000 young people who fall under the classification which stands for “not in employment, education or training’’.
Two young NEETs, Ashleigh, 21, and Amy, 17, from Mt Druitt, would rather spend their days “chilling at maccas” and taking their old Holden Barina on “off-road tracks” than look for a job. Ashleigh told The Daily Telegraph she would “never get a job”.
“I don’t want to work my whole life and just die … I want more than that,” she said from the car park of the Mt Druitt Centrelink office. “I would tell you it’s hard to get a job but to be honest I don’t even try. Centrelink pays my rent and that’s all I need.”
Her friend Amy was recently kicked out of her trade college and has been unable to hold down a job. “They pay you nothing so why would I rock up,” she said.
“I call in sick when I’m over it and then they just get rid of me. Not fair really because I just want to have a good time and chill but I don’t want to be fired.”
Both women made applications to Centrelink yesterday after taking their battered silver Barina for a spin in the bush near Blacktown.
“Sorry the car is so dirty, we’ve been off-road,” Ashleigh said. “There is f … all else to do around here. We normally go driving or chill at Maccas but I’ll die before I spend my time in an office.”
The number of NEETs has soared by 100,000 since the global financial crisis eight years ago and they now account for one in every eight Australians aged 15 to 29. The OECD’s Investing In Youth report is based on data from the federal Employment Department and the government-funded Household, Income and Labour Dynamics (HILDA) survey of 10,000 households.
The girls like to chill out at Maccas.
And God forbid they’d ever work in an office.
The report says male NEETs tend to “spend more time on ‘leisure’ activities such as computing or watching TV and more time sleeping than female NEETs”.
The report also reveals that 41 per cent of NEETs want a job and are seeking work, 40 per cent — or more than 220,000 young Australians — are “inactive and unwilling to work’’, and 19 per cent want a job but aren’t looking.
Young women often drop out of work or study to have children, while young men drop out due to “low educational attainment, a lack of suitable employment options and ill health (or) disability’’.
JUST WHO ARE THESE NEETS?
* 580,000 Australians aged 15-29 are NEETs
* 360,000 “would like to work but can’t”
* 220,000 “inactive and unwilling to work”
* The number of NEETs has increased by 100,000 since the 2008 global financial crisis
* Male NEETs tend to “spend more time on ‘leisure’ activities such as computing or watching TV and more time sleeping than female NEETs”