First Union says young people taking on first jobs this summer at high risk of exploitation

First Union says young people taking on their first jobs this summer are at high risk of exploitation, and it is encouraging them to find out about their employment rights.

First Union retail organiser Moniqua Reid said often young people knew little about their rights as employees before they entered the workforce.

"For the likes of students, a lot of the time they may really need the money so they can be really vulnerable," she said.

"They might not have a choice in what they take on, so they may be more likely to pick up these jobs where they aren't treated the best way possible, or not even paid a fair wage for what they are working."

Reid would like to see more focus on it in schools.

"I think more labour education should happen in high schools from a very young age, because people start working from 14 and sometimes even earlier. The more you know about your employment rights the better off you'll be in the long run."

Young people can get support over their workplace rights from unions and youth advocacy groups, Reid said.