YES: Youth Employment Study

Project Details

Intervening early to enable young Australians transition into meaningful, sustainable work is likely to have enormous payoffs for their health and wellbeing, as well as reduce economic costs to society. To date, research about employment among young people has focused on the social and economic benefits of programs or policies and has ignored the health benefits. We will produce new evidence about the individual, service-related, workplace and contextual factors that contribute to successful employment and health outcomes for young people and will identify when and where it might be most cost-effective to intervene.

In 2020, the YES study surveyed Australians (15 to 25 years) about their experience of work during COVID-19 pandemic. The YES report provides analysis of questions related to contemporary economic and social issues in Australia, including individual experiences of:

  • looking for work
  • employment support services
  • previous work experiences
  • Disability
  • Mental health
  • Financial and housing stresses

The report includes  recommendations to support young Australians through the COVID-19 economic recovery phase.

Project Website

Project Contact



Professor Anne Kavanagh, University of Melbourne (from August 2019)
Associate Professor Allison Milner, University of Melbourne (until August 2019)
Associate Professor Dennis Petrie, Monash University
Professor Tony LaMontagne, Deakin University
Associate Professor Cathy Vaughan, University of Melbourne
Professor Shelley Mallett, Brotherhood of St Laurence
Ms Stefanie Dimov, University of Melbourne
Ms Marissa Shields, University of Melbourne


Deakin University, Monash University,  Brotherhood of St Laurence, National Disability Services, VicHealth, Disability Employment Australia and yourtown


National Health and Medical Research Council Partnership Project, 2018-2021

Research Outcomes


Young people are making their way through COVID-19 (Jan 2021)
Freedom lost: the generation coming of age in Australia's pandemic-fuelled recession (Dec 2020)
The young Australians hit hard during coronavirus pandemic (May 2020)

Research Publications

Dimov S, Kavanagh A, Shields M, Badji S, LaMontange A, Vaughan C et al. (2021). Youth Employment Study: Findings from the first survey. The University of Melbourne.

Research Group

School Research Themes

Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care, Data science, health metrics and disease modeling

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Equity

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