Youth aren’t thriving and it’s costing business

Youth aren’t thriving and it’s costing business

New research by Skillsroad has found that young people are not flourishing like they should, in fact they’re just doing OK. The data suggests that average levels of well-being are not only affecting our youth but also the bottom line of Australian businesses.

Commissioned by Apprenticeship Support Australia (ASA), the Skillsroad 2017 Youth Census nationally surveyed 13,227 young Australians between the ages of 15-24. Undertaken specifically to identify the concerns and issues affecting our youth when it comes to their transition from school to work, and to address the current concerns of employers who are struggling to attract and retain young staff, despite soaring youth unemployment.

The census links average levels of wellbeing to high job turnover, the national skills shortage, increasing university and vocational dropout rates, and a myriad of employment issues.

“The fact that young people are ranking pay as the most important consideration when applying for a job shows that young people are likely to prioritise money over career paths that they’re genuinely passionate about, increasing the chances of them ending up in a career they don’t enjoy and impacting their confidence and resilience, said ASA’s managing director Darren Cocks. “Given, when an employee resigns, it can cost as much as 400 per cent of their salary, the cost of churn is a heavy burden for many companies.

“Pursuing careers that are intrinsically important to young people is far more likely to result in engaged staff who enjoy their work, have fewer sick days, benefit from higher levels of wellbeing and are therefore more likely to stay longer,” he said.

The census confirmed that parents possess a huge amount of power in shaping the careers of young people, as they were ranked the most likely person to turn to for career advice.

“We need to supply parents with information and tools so that career conversations are positive, un-biased and comprehensive. These conversations need to happen early and present youth with all the options so they have the best chance of choosing the path that suits them, makes them happy — minimising the risk of a false start — and increases wellbeing.

“As a community we need to be mindful we are not pushing any one career pathway — whether it’s because of a lack of resources or a misguided belief that one tertiary system is better than the other — we need to encourage young people to find out what truly interests them and plays to their strengths,” Mr Cocks said.

52.3 per cent of young people still at school are planning to attend university, despite fears of financial hardship for some and a lack of jobs in some sectors after graduation. Only 15.8 per cent are considering VET pathways — including apprenticeships and traineeships — despite VET graduates being more likely to be in employment post completion than university graduates (McCrindle, 2017, Perceptions Are Not Reality: myths, realities & the critical role of vocational education & training in Australia, May 2017).

“We need to enable young people to make informed career choices by making a greater investment in educating students on all career pathways, their suitability to these, and how and where to pursue them to improve productivity and reduce employee turnover.”

Apprenticeship Support Australia and Skillsroad are supported by the Business Chamber Movement in Australia; representing the interests of over 300,000 businesses.

With more than 150,000 members Skillsroad.com.au is considered one of Australia’s leading independent careers advice and youth employment platforms. To download the full Skillsroad 2017 Youth Census visit Skillsroad.com.au.

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