He’s the 22-year-old who said it would be “totally ridiculous” to apply for a job in any field other than IT.
Beau Evans has become a poster boy for what Australia’s Treasurer Joe Hockey described as an “Age of Entitlement”.
Evans appeared on SBS’s Insight program, where he shared his experiences trying to find full-time work in his area of expertise.
He has $16,000 worth of debt racked up while also receiving government unemployment benefits, after he was sacked from “a couple of jobs”, at least once for repeatedly sleeping in.
“That’s made it a bit hard to get another full-time job,” he said.
Since then, he says it has been hard to find any permanent work in IT, and that the contract roles he takes do not provide enough income to live off comfortably.
Evans said he would never consider looking for work in an industry outside of the one he studied for, which means taxpayers will be footing the bill until he finds something he’s happy with.
He’s currently receiving around $600 each fortnight under the NewStart program.
“If I was to go and work in a cafe or something after everything I have studied in IT, that would be jeopardising my entire life,” he said.
He has been the subject of a lot of commentary, particularly on social media, with many users labelling people such as Evans as the reason the Government has attempted to tighten the eligibility requirement for young job seekers on welfare.
There was the obvious anger at his apparent stubbornness. But also a lot of people worried his views would be taken as a reflection of young graduates as a whole, who, in many industries, do have trouble finding jobs in Australia, but are perfectly happy doing whatever it takes to get by in the meantime.
It also raised questions about the purpose of work, which for many people who have invested considerable time and money towards their studies is far more than a way to make an income. Society increasingly sees your occupation as a reflection of your identity, and this does make the prospect of working in, say, a cafe less appealing for some.
There’s also the important point that, in Australia and other OECD countries, tertiary education is heavily subsidised by the government.
Forcing university graduates to apply for unskilled jobs is a waste of the investment we make in those people's education. #sbsinsight
— Andy Dwyer (@AndyDwyerSays) June 17, 2014
Importantly though, Evans isn’t a good representation of an Australian graduate, or welfare recipient, who is looking for work. But the problem is, the stereotype he has helped create has, in part, forced the Government’s hand.
Here’s the video. Evan recounts his experiences first:
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