AN Albion Park teenage job-seeker believes many people his age take having regular work for granted, making it more difficult for those who are unemployed and genuinely want to work.
A national initiative, "My First Job" has been launched by community organisation Service to Youth Council to raise awareness of the issues facing unemployed - and underemployed - young Australians and the need to develop practical strategies to reduce the youth unemployment rate.
It aims to help halve Australia's youth unemployment rates by 2020.
Ten regions throughout Australia, including Shellharbour have been identified by the Department of Human Services' Better Futures Local Solutions fund as having youth unemployment figures as high as 40 per cent.
As part of its efforts, SYC has reached out to its agency connections throughout the country, including non-profit organisation Access Community Group.
Christian Palk, 18, recently started a diploma in business and management at Evocca College, Wollongong. He left school after year 10.
"I was never really good at the school environment, but I'm doing well with my course now," he said.
As part of his employment search, the Albion Park resident has been participating in Access's Youth Connections and Work Skills programs.
He has also completed his first aid certificate, undertaken the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, and finished Responsible Service of Alcohol and Responsible Conduct of Gaming courses.
Mr Palk said he'd had a lot of different jobs, mostly part-time, since leaving school.
"It's hard because people aren't really looking to put people on," he said.
Mr Palk said he was at the point where he'd "work pretty much anywhere".
"My ultimate goal is to open my own Pacific Island-themed bar and restaurant."
Access Community Group's Jillian D'hont is Mr Palk's youth worker, describing him as "incredibly determined".
"He's very self-driven and has taken a lot of steps on his own to reach his goals and accomplish them," Ms D'hont said.
SYC chief executive officer Paul Edginton said young Australians had significant hurdles to overcome in gaining employment, including the reduction of labour-intensive workforces in Australia.