Double-speak: the reality of youth exploitation


Flexible: The high level of youth unemployment acts as a pressure on young people to accept extremely poor workplace conditions and low wages. This means young people are more easily forced to accept jobs which are largely casual positions with extremely poor safety and conditions, little or no job security, and low wages.

Less tied down: Bosses argue that because young people have fewer family commitments, they should be more willing to work in casual jobs. Currently, the majority of young workers are in casual positions, allowing bosses to escape paying entitlements like sick pay and holiday leave.

Mobile: Young people are less likely to see themselves as staying in an industry for long, so bosses get away with providing atrocious working conditions and pay. There is also a very low level of unionisation among young workers. They are more likely to put up with extended or intensive physical activity, thus increasing their rate of exploitation.

Inexperienced: Young people just entering the work force need to learn new skills. Bosses use this "inexperience" to justify low wages and to avoid their responsibility for providing training. The bosses profit from the skills workers have, but avoid contributing to the cost of teaching workers new skills.