Australia : ACTU finds majority of young workers feel poorly treated, more than 50pc report being underpaid
Posted August 31, 2016 11:34:36
An Australian Council of Trade Unions-commissioned survey has found widespread dissatisfaction among young workers who say they feel mistreated by their bosses, including being underpaid, undertrained and at times abused.
- 500 young Australians between the ages of 18 to 24 in a range of industries
- 56 per cent said they were not receiving the right training at work
- Union says people are not properly educated about their rights at work
The study surveyed 500 young Australians between the ages of 18 to 24, working in part-time, full-time, permanent and casual positions in a range of industries.
Ged Kearney, president of the ACTU, said the results from the commissioned survey were "disturbing", with their findings telling them that the majority of people reported being poorly treated by their managers.
More than 50 per cent of respondents said they were not getting paid the right amount, and 56 per cent said they were not receiving the right training at work.
"They're concerned about their working conditions, they can't get regular work and therefore regular income," Ms Kearney said.
"A third of them are worried that they're not being paid enough superannuation by their bosses, they worry about a lack of career progression, they have rostering issues.
"What we're seeing here is a very serious picture of young people at work who are feeling insecure, that are not feeling empowered and they don't feel that they are actually making a difference for themselves and their careers.
"In the long run they will suffer, the communities will suffer and the economy will suffer."
Employees are frightened to speak up: ACTU
Ms Kearney said there were a number of changes needed in the form of legislative and regulatory monitoring, as well as education.
"We need to make sure that we do things like reinvest the $1 billion that's been taken out of apprenticeships, to make sure young people are getting skills and training on the job," she said.
"We need to commit to TAFE, colleges and higher education funding, so people get the right training and education that is necessary."
From the viewpoint of the trade union, Ms Kearney said they felt there was an issue of young people entering the workforce without the knowledge that "we may stand up as a collective".
"When they approach an employer as a group, whether that's through their union or not, they have a lot more power," she said.
"These young ones are looking at these problems from their individual perspective, they're worried, they're frightened to speak up, they don't know how to approach their boss."
Ms Kearney said in the study 80 per cent of the respondents said that they would value support in the workplace to help them speak up when they felt they were being treated unfairly.
"So I think we have a lot of work to do with the younger generation around how to feel empowered at work."