“An army of young Australian bludgers” who would rather watch TV than find a job has emerged, according to the Daily Telegraph’s cover story on Wednesday, September 14.
The paper focuses on two young people “not in employment, education or training’’, or NEETs, whom the writers described as “young, selfish and happily jobless”.
The story was as follows:
Two young NEETs, Ashleigh, 21, and Amy, 17, from Mt Druitt, would rather spend their days “chilling at maccas” and taking their old Holden Barina on “off-road tracks” than look for a job. Ashleigh told The Daily Telegraph she would “never get a job”.
“I don’t want to work my whole life and just die … I want more than that,” she said from the car park of the Mt Druitt Centrelink office. “I would tell you it’s hard to get a job but to be honest I don’t even try. Centrelink pays my rent and that’s all I need.”
The following paragraphs of the story discuss about the reasons behind young people’s unwillingness to work, which are based more on structural issues than personal decisions according to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report.
The number of NEETs has soared by 100,000 since the global financial crisis eight years ago… The report also reveals that 41 per cent of NEETs want a job and are seeking work… Young women often drop out of work or study to have children, while young men drop out due to “low educational attainment, a lack of suitable employment options and ill health (or) disability’’.
Junkee’s Osman Faruqi criticises the article for its bias. “At no point did the OECD suggest that the rise in young people out of the workforce as their own fault or a deliberate decision to just bludge around,” writes Faruqi. “But I guess a story that says ‘Government should invest more in public services’ won’t sell as many papers as ‘New breed of bludger’.”