Tomorrow’s Bankstown? Managing the crisis of high unemployment rates for young people in Western Sydney.

“Canterbury-Bankstown is the worst affected area in Sydney” — Rachel Browne

Bankstown, one of many highly populated multicultural areas in Western Sydney. The vibrant colours and mixed nationalities of Bankstown have drawn me in over the years. I was born in Bankstown and still live there today. I have also been working there for a little over a year. I call Bankstown home. But unfortunately over the years I have seen dramatic changes within the area, Bankstown has placed a facade over significant social issues. One significant issue that I have noticed is the high unemployment rates for young people in Bankstown. Why for such a diverse and large area are unemployment rates so high? Close people around me have sparked my attention over the issue and simply saying finding a job is “way too hard!”. With my own experience I can agree with the lack of job opportunities around Bankstown, in particular for young people. Simple jobs that young people regularly get their foot in are retail or hospitality, but even that has still been difficult for the majority. I was seeking work for a year before I found a job that today I am currently still working in. I have understood the difficulties and challenges that young people are facing currently with seeking employment.


So what would you do if one day the unemployment rates for young people get even higher?

According to the ABS the Inner South West of Sydney have seen the highest unemployment rates for those aged 15–24 years across Sydney and NSW. With “almost one in seven people aged 15–24 are looking for a job” these are alarming figures reflecting the social issue of unemployment in Western Sydney.

These concerning figures in the table aside sourced from the ABS show that across Sydney and NSW the West is the most affected area. Further showing that the West is 3.3% higher than the NSW average.

Possible reasoning for higher youth unemployment rates in areas of the West compared to the Inner West or Eastern Suburbs or even Parramatta could reflect back to their parents. As young people tend to live with their parents there may be higher levels of unemployment among their parents and lower levels of education, suggesting they may not know any better. For areas like the Northern Beaches that are considered prestige or for the elite tend to have parents that are educated and work, so therefore exceptions are for the children to do so as well.


Unfortunately the devastating truth is that the unemployment rate has become high, and is only going to get higher if nothing or no one does anything about it.

But what if I told you someone is doing something about it? …. and it is certain that it will create hundreds of job opportunities in Bankstown.

Now lets say these “hundreds of jobs” do get created, even if people don’t believe they have the set skills for particular jobs, there are always job opportunities that don’t require high complex levels of skills and knowledge. Working within retail or hospitality is a perfect example as not many complex skills are required. Young people need opportunities before it is to late, “if young people miss the opportunity of a good start in the labour market, it just gets harder, every day, every week, every month, every year”. The growing population must cater for the future as well as the present.


Bankstown, a diverse area in Western Sydney were approximately 30,000 people reside is soon to have four high-rise buildings and may possibly “become the city’s tallest structures if approved”.

The future development promises that it will accommodate almost 500 apartments as well as having commercial buildings. The development will replace the existing building, the Compass Centre that can be seen above as an older building. The Compass Centre sits on a prime location in Bankstown, right across from Bankstown train station and “sits very comfortably against the backdrop of Paul Keating Park”, a well-known park in Bankstown. Therefore if this development was to succeed it will create substantial job opportunities.

It is suggested that approximately “350 jobs would be created in the construction of the towers” and once fully developed further job opportunities will be produced as new stores like retail, cafes and restaurants and administration offices will seek for employees. With four new high rise buildings each ranging from 19–24 storeys high this will provide perfect job opportunities for young people in Bankstown as it will cater for all the different needs and interests of future employees.

(Left Image) An overhead look at the current site. Sourced from Google Earth. (Right Image) Proposed idea of what the site would be transformed into. Sourced from http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/the-express/future-highrise-to-be-twice-the-size-of-canterburybankstowns-tallest-structure/news-story/c4a1c7645a02bf1dc1334e42ca887a22

The development will spread across a large scale of land providing four large buildings and the modern site is hoping to “invoke a sense of pride for the people of Bankstown”.

When the new library opened up in Bankstown I can recall the excitement of the people and still till now when I drive past it almost daily I always think they done such an amazing job in creating a modern library in a diverse area. The people of Bankstown have enjoyed the new library and hoping they will do the same with the new proposed development that will take a dynamic change even further to Bankstown.

“This development will regenerate the area and it will deliver better facilities and services to the people of Bankstown past, present and future”- FS Property Group Spokesman
An artist’s impression of the proposed forecourt. Sourced from http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/the-express/future-highrise-to-be-twice-the-size-of-canterburybankstowns-tallest-structure/news-story/c4a1c7645a02bf1dc1334e42ca887a22
An artist’s impression of the redeveloped site where the Compass Centre is. Sourced from http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/south-west/chinese-developer-who-bought-compass-centre-releases-plans-for-bankstown-site/news-story/103cfc6d9f1e4baefed3d950240aa517

The artist’s impression of the redeveloped site shows the modern and advanced possibilities that the four buildings will provide. You can see in the image to the left that there is a various amount of retail stores that are among one of the buildings. These retail stores are what young people of Bankstown can try and get their foot into. With the new proposed developed look, which shows contrast to the relatively new Bankstown library, this opens possibilities for, further future developments across Bankstown.


What can we do as a community?

There is a range of options as a community that we can do to increase the opportunities for young people to find employment in Bankstown-

  1. An employer can be given incentives (if it be by an organisation, or the government) for hiring young people.
  2. Create more job sharing (we cannot do much about the increase of population but job sharing can help reduce the high levels of unemployment that are being widely faced by the younger population of Bankstown).
  3. Networking with others and advertising across the community.
  4. Private institutes or TAFE can provide more courses to cater to individuals based on their various needs, backgrounds and interests. They can further up skill the younger generation.
  5. Employers can have more connections with the wider-community to network with possible future employees (for example, if an employer doesn’t speak much English and is better with their home language than they can seek an employee that also speaks the same language).

So are you just going to sit there doing nothing?!

Don’t let unemployment rates get even higher. Be the one in the community that makes the change… The future Bankstown will sincerely appreciate it.