In a shocking turn of events, young people have once again been targeted by a sledge campaign that wishes to call them lazy, and to blame all of the world's issues on them. This time the focus are NEETs, those 'Not in Employment, Education or Training'. Comedian Rebecca Shaw meets the NEETs, and has some ideas for other groups that can be targeted next.
Rebecca Shaw

16 Sep 2016 - 1:59 PM  UPDATED 16 Sep 2016 - 2:00 PM


A couple of days ago a new OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) report showed that Australia has 580, 000 young people “Not in Employment, Education or Training.” These people have been labeled, by an obvious genius, as NEETs. Ha, good one. An acronym.


This term has actually been used for a while, but some areas of the media latched onto it after this new report and bloody ran with it. An article in the Herald Sun titled “Meet the NEETS: The new breed of Aussie bludger” (subtle) wrote about an ‘army’ of young people who are unwilling to work, instead preferring to sleep and watch TV. A terrifying army obviously just laying in wait to strike at the right moment. After this next episode.

The article then introduced us to two of these so-called NEET people from Mt Druitt who choose not to work, instead relying on Centrelink payments to fund their glamorous lifestyle of chilling at Maccas.


NEETs are a fresh way for people to whinge and complain about ‘dole bludgers’. It’s a new hysterical way to bemoan the state of the world, and act like the world’s problems lay on the shoulders of today’s young people, and that there is an ARMY of them that are lazy and refuse to work and are content to suck at the teat of the hard working taxpayer while the rest of us break our backs.


Of course, the screeching ‘YOUNG PEOPLE SUCK AND ALSO POKEMON GO WILL END US ALL’ articles conveniently leave out some pertinent details from the OECD report.  Greg Jericho at The Guardian has helpfully explored a few of the specifics.


There’s the fact that the current level of NEETs at 11% is actually low when compared to the pre-mining boom era. There’s the fact that there is a difference between NEETs who are actively looking for work and ‘Idle NEETs’, those who are not working or training and also are not looking for work. The current level of youth who are Idle Neets (also a good name for a Stephen King novel) is 6.5% - the lowest level in the past 30 years. Also a fun fact that isn’t mentioned in a lot of the Dole Bludger Young People Are Terrible articles is that 8% of women aged 15-24 are Idle Neets, but the OECD notes that this number is driven “entirely by women with young children.” In other words it is almost all young women who can’t actually work because affordable childcare and flexible workplaces are a myth. 

Since the global financial crisis, there has been an increase in the number of NEETs. Because, global financial crisis. But nah tell us more about how this is actually all the fault of a couple of young people who might not hold a positive outlook on employment as they go about their lives in one of the most economically hardest-hit places in Sydney. It's probably something to do with selfies. 


In any case, in order to help out the parts of the media that love acronyms and targeting specific groups of humans in order to start a sledge campaign, I would like to give some other fun acronym examples that I am more than willing to share. 


BOCATs – Boomers who Only Care About Themselves

I cannot wait to read tomorrow’s article about the ARMY OF BOOMERS who didn’t pay for education and purchased houses when they were affordable who now own all the property and make it impossible for young people to afford to live, even if they break their backs working. 


ICOSTDU- Idiots who Comment On Stories They Don’t Understand

Open up the newspaper tomorrow to read about idiots who comment on stories about young people when it is obvious they don't understand the story, don't both reading the story, and just have their own agenda they want to type somewhere and see it written to feel as though they have a semblance of power for at least a fleeting moment. 


ALALCs - Adult Lesbians Always Loving Cats 

This article will just be a picture of me.




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