Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Hons.)


Department of Geography


This thesis examines a number of aspects of youth unemployment in the Urban Illawarra, one of Australia's high-unemployment regions. A number of questions are posed:

Who are the young unemployed in this region? What sorts of lifestyles do they lead? How and how hard do they search for work? What do they think of their prospects of finding employment? What attitudes do they hold toward employers and toward the institutions with which they come in contact?

Answers were sought to these questions using data generated from interviews of 81 people aged 15-24 years, currently unemployed and belonging to the Community Youth Support Scheme which operates a number of centres within the region. Most of the respondents are not, by present-day standards, particularly highly educated and the majority can be said to be disadvantaged as far as work prospects are concerned. Nevertheless nearly all have had some experience of employment as well as of joblessness. Their current lifestyles focus on low-cost activities carried out in or near their homes, on participation in CYSS activities, and on looking for work. Most, apparently, want to work and are actively looking for employment, though there is evidence that some who have been jobless for long periods may be giving up the search. Many are pessimistic about their employment prospects, and many more have negative attitudes toward employers than are well disposed toward them. There is some hostility toward the Commonwealth Employment Service and the Department of Social Security, but most of the respondents are highly appreciative of the Community Youth Support Scheme.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.