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Gap between financial goals and reality

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Young people have high hopes for a career and home ownership, despite high youth unemployment and house prices.

Australia’s largest annual youth poll shows professional success and financial independence are the top aspirations for 15 to 19-year-olds, but many fear these goals may be out of reach.

Of the 14,000 people who took part in the 2014 Mission Australia survey, only around 60 per cent felt career success was actually attainable.

Mission Australia CEO Catherine Yeomans says the pessimism is because of youth unemployment, which stands at 14 per cent, double the rate of the general population.

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“Our young people are not growing up in a vacuum,” she said.

“In areas like Tasmania and some parts of western Sydney and northern Queensland, youth unemployment is 20 per cent. That’s simply too high.”

Ms Yeomans said entry-level jobs were the first to go following the GFC and the slowest to return, making it harder for youngsters to get their foot in the door.

The study also revealed more than 70 per cent of young people were confident about owning their own home, despite many first home buyers being priced out of the market.

Ms Yeomans said the results are a wake up call for government to invest in education, employment opportunities and affordable housing for young people.


• Top aspirations are career success and financial independence but only 60 per cent feel these are achievable goals

• Seven in ten think it’s extremely or very likely they will own their own home, despite falling rates of home ownership

•  Only 54 per cent of males plan to go to university, compared with more than 70 per cent of females

• More than a third are currently looking for work (including part-time/casual)

• Almost 50 per cent believe where they live affects their career opportunities

• One in five have strong concerns about family conflict and depression

• Concerns about mental health, alcohol and drugs continues to rise

(Source: Mission Australia)

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