Swinburne Youth Parliament team wants graduates work ready

Monday 30 June 2014

The east side of the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre building captured during a sunset.

Swinburne University of Technology’s team participating in this year’s YMCA Youth Parliament wants university graduates to be work ready, and is calling for compulsory internship programs for students completing tertiary studies.

Youth Parliament, which is supported by the Victorian Government, provides young Victorians aged 16-25 years with an opportunity to develop skills in relationship-building, team-work, public speaking and leadership.

The Swinburne team for 2014 is Ian Baxendine, Sam Fitzpatrick, Payal Gondaliya, Deena Mitchell, Anisha Purswani and Cameron Nash.

Mr Baxendine, who is also the team leader, said they have written a piece of proposed legislation, Introduction of Mandatory Intern Programs Bill, pushing for changes to make more university graduates work ready.

“Too many students graduate only to find they cannot get work in their field without experience,” Mr Baxendine said. “Yet without work they can’t gain experience.

“Through the introduction of this bill, companies will be expected to offer internship roles for tertiary students.”

Youth Parliament members are encouraged to develop their own personal opinions and consider the impact of each bill in Victoria if it were enacted.

All bills that are passed by the Youth Parliament are given the assent of the Youth Governor and are handed to Minister for Youth Affairs, Ryan Smith, who will then pass them to the relevant government ministers for consideration.

More than 25 pieces of legislation have originated in Victoria’s Youth Parliament during its 27 year history, including mandatory wearing of bike helmets, zero blood alcohol content for those accompanying learner drivers and over the counter availability of the morning after pill.

Victoria's first Youth Parliament was held at Parliament House, Melbourne, in September 1987.

Youth Parliament, which this year consists of 120 secondary school and tertiary students, will convene for three days from Monday, 30 June.