The nature of work is rapidly changing and some groups fare better than others in this dynamic labour market. Young people often struggle to get a first job and for those who have time out of the labour force it’s often hard to find another job.

Workers in low-paid, insecure jobs frequently move in and out of work or are caught in dead-end jobs. Some groups are unable to get a foothold in work and as a result are effectively locked out of the labour market.

Our research examines the lived experience of labour market disadvantage and analyses secondary data to understand trends. We study pathways into and out of work to identify the factors that help or hinder people to get, keep and advance in employment. We also investigate what is needed to foster inclusive employment and identify useful labour market interventions.

Featured research


For those experiencing labour market disadvantage, finding a decent job is a significant challenge. Our research examines how public and private sector organisations can strategically leverage their procurement expenditure to create employment opportunities for marginalised jobseekers while also achieving economic and environmental objectives.

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Current and recent work


Enhancing employment services for mature-age jobseekers

Existing policy responses to workforce age discrimination tend to focus on the role of employers in providing opportunities for older Australians. This research project by contrast focuses on employment services.

A research summary and three complementary reports have been published.

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Working for everyone

The same study has produced a website that contains stories of mature age job seekers, explains how work has changed and provides online tools to support job seeking.

Working longer, staying healthy and keeping productive

By 2060, nearly half of Australians aged 64 or older will be employed. Failure to address their health problems could threaten Australia’s economy, tax base and health and care services.

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Understanding and preventing workforce vulnerabilities in midlife and beyond

This study examined mature aged people's lived experience, pathways and outcomes of involuntary non-participation or underparticipation in paid work.

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Life Chances study

The latest stage of this unique longitudinal study examines how family income, social class, ethnicity and gender affect the education and employment pathways of young people. 

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Supporting Transitions to Work

Research associated with the Brotherhood’s delivery of the federally funded Transition to Work program (TtW) will provide new insights about enabling young people to pursue their employment goals.

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Youth Unemployment Monitor

The Brotherhood's campaign to address youth unemployment is supported by research snapshots.

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Parents and workforce participation 

Supporting parents of young children to plan for future employment involves opportunities and challenges.

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The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes