"Nearly 3/4 of the jobs that young people tend to take are at risk of automation," says AlphaBeta Economics director Andrew Charlton.
Business leaders are calling for simpler, consistent rules for employing young people - and a new "simple" award for small business employees - as part of a national response to the worsening youth unemployment problem.
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Kate Carnell described the current regulation of young workers - with differing laws across different states overlaid by 122 federal awards and a federal Fair Work Act with 950 sections was "an incredibly messy space and there's no doubt that's discouraging businesses from employing young people".
She argued that the burden of workplace regulation was particularly dire for small to medium enterprises that lacked HR departments and revealed ACCI is lobbying the federal government to introduce a new simpler award for employees of businesses with less than 20 staff, which would make it easier for these businesses to both hire and fire staff. She declined to say what other terms and conditions would be covered, or excluded, but argued "we need to think outside the square".
Currently some 280,000 Australians under 25 are unemployed and there are 2 million small businesses - so the problem of youth unemployment could disappear if small businesses took on more workers, Ms Carnell argued.
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