I congratulate Unions New South Wales on their recent youth survey, which provides critical insight into the experiences of young people in our economy.

Over 300 young people responded to the survey at the end of 2020 and the results paint a bleak picture of what it is to be a young person in the time of COVID-19, including reporting that 30% of respondents who did not live with their parents regularly skipped meals last year. 42% of respondents under 21 have less than $100 left each week after paying for rent, bills and groceries.

It's clear we can and must do much more. The survey recommendations include that: Adjustments to junior rates for workers over 18 need to be phased out and rates for those under 18 increased to guarantee young workers a living wage. The Youth Allowance must be raised to the equivalent of a living wage. We must criminalise wage theft; and Unpaid internships should be outlawed.

Young workers in our electorates demand to be heard and I congratulate and acknowledge Unions NSW for this crucial body of work.