What Gets Millennials Worked Up: Their World, In Their Words

And no, its not having to pay for Wi-Fi or Snapchat dropping their favourite filter.

In an inaugural study released this week, Youth Action surveyed 3,400 young Aussies to find out what concerns them and what makes them tick.

The NSW peak youth services body then crunched the interview data to reveal -- what they say -- is a generation that doesn't slot into clear categories.

"They do politics in a new way, they aren't necessarily left or right, red, blue or green, they care about issues and not parties" said Youth Action CEO Katie Acheson.

Education, housing and equality where the big concerns among the 12-25 year olds questioned.

"There's an assumption by older generations that because young people are digital natives they are selfish and only care about their social media profiles. That's not true, they express their view using these exact platforms," Acheson said.

Acheson said there is a view that young people are leftist and as they get older they become more conservative, but she said research has proven this not to be true.

"The one overarching concern is inequality, there's widespread concern about the growing gap between the rich and the poor.

It wasn't necessarily about how it affected them, but rather how it affected the community as a whole," she said.

EDUCATION: Rising uni fees and cuts to VET and TAFE programs
Young people are concerned about the cost of education.  IMAGE: Getty Images

"I see education as a human right not a profit-making machine reserved only for the wealthy" -- Female, 20-25 unemployed.

"I find it extremely unfair that private schools receive so much more funding from the government than public schools although they are ‘private’ which should mean they are self-sufficient from the government" -- Female, 17–19, University student.

"Make it easier for students by offering day and night courses for all subjects or make it easier for  university students who also have to work to survive and pay bills" --  Female, 20–25, University student.

Homelessness And Cost Of Living
According to Mission Australia, one in six young Australians experienced homelessness in 2017. IMAGE: Getty Images.

"Everybody, no matter what age, no matter what issues, no matter what background, deserves a roof over their heads" --  Female, 17–19, TAFE student.

"Provide shelter for people who can't afford homes" -- Male, 12–16, high school student.

"Increase spending on social security in order to provide more homes for the homeless" -- Male, 12–16, high school.

"This is literally day-to-day survival/meeting basic needs, of course it is extremely important to me" -- Female 20–25, employed full-time.

EMPLOYMENT
Australia's unemployment among people aged 15 to 24 is more than double the general rate. IMAGE: Getty Images

"Minimum wage, unpaid internships and job insecurity are issues faced by a lot of people in my generation. This is made worse with unrealistic rental and house prices and costly uni fees" -- Female, 20–25, university student. 

"There is an oversaturated graduate market and not enough jobs; there are growing residential areas and no work close to home, congested roads and public transport" - Male, 18–25, employed part-time.

"Remove penalty rates to make it easier for small businesses to employ more people more often" -- Male, 20–25, university student.

Youth Action plan to repeat this research annually in a bid to track the needs and challenges faced by young people.

Contact the author at alattouf@networkten.com.au

Featured Image:  Getty Images