Monday, September 17, 2012

Teenage students, work and mobile addiction

Today I had my usual 'Life Matters' gig on ABC Radio National, talking to host Natasha Mitchell with fellow guest Dr. Doris McIlwain on the 'Modern Dilemmas' segment.

Today's dilemma was about teenage students in a rural town who're being taken away from schoolwork by employment in a new retail store. 

Why are they ditching school for cash? What are they sacrificing? And can we undo the mobile phone addiction they're feeding?

You can listen here.

One more point, which I didn't get to note on the show. Qualifications certainly help with employment and income, and can stop generational poverty.

But a university degree is no guarantee of secure employment. As the new ACTU report Lives on Hold suggests, there are fewer jobs for life now, with just over 60% of the workforce in permanent employment--the rest are mostly casual. 

Not even those with tertiary qualifications have secure employment. 31% of workers on fixed-term contracts, for example, are in education. In Victoria, more than half the teachers in their first five years of employment are on short-term contracts, often a year or less. 

Now, they're certainly better off than Australians with no qualifications. But a university degree now promises a lot less than it used to--let alone a Year 12 certificate.


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