John F Kennedy once proclaimed: “The future promise of any nation can be directly measured by the prospects of its youth”.
But according to a recently released survey, Australia might be sadly lacking that promise, with only eight per cent of Australian millennials believing they will be better off than their parents, and only four per cent anticipating they will be happier.
The YOUTH survey
These are the findings of the Millennial Survey 2017, an annual global study by financial consultancy firm Deloitte that explores the attitudes of the up-and-coming generation, and how they view the world.
It noted: “Especially in developing countries, many are anxious about a world that presents numerous threats and question their personal prospects.”
In Australia more specifically, they found that less the one in 10 Australians feel they will be more financially secure than their parents compared to a 36 per cent average in the developed world, and 71 per cent average in the developing world.
Factors contributing to the malaise include employment prospects, fear of terrorism and crime, the double edged sword of increasing technology, and social issues like housing affordability.
ABC News continues Australia’s Youth Unemployment rate currently sits at 13.3 per cent – a figure that’s around twice the general rate. And it’s not just unemployment, but underemployment posing a threat.
One in five young people are working, but want to be working more, equating to an astounding 20 per cent underemployment figure.
Deloitte notes this uncertainty is leading to increased loyalty to employers in a period when “stability is appealing”.
It’s well documented that the great Australian dream of owning your own home is slipping through the grasp of the younger generation.
Underemployment and unstable employment like freelancing or consulting all make it harder to obtain a loan, while rising house prices mean even well-paid young professionals are challenged to tick the required financial boxes.
David Hill, Deloitte Australia’s chief operating officer told the Sydney Morning Herald for millennials “Australia no longer looks like the lucky country”.
“I suspect booming house prices in the major cities of Sydney and Melbourne are partly to blame for this pessimism, with many young Australians believing the dream of owning their own home is increasingly out of reach.
Meanwhile global uncertainty also plays a role. Amidst a backdrop of terror attacks, the economic upheaval of Brexit, and the radical leanings of the US, millennials are increasingly wary of the way the global landscape is unfolding and their personal safety within it.
The up-and-coming generation is armed with more technological nous than any before it, but understands that with the benefits come major drawbacks.
Deloitte notes: “For some, it encourages creative thinking and provides opportunities to develop new skills. For others, automation poses a threat to jobs and is creating sterile workplaces”.
The Father James Grant Foundation’s Mission Engage believes government, business and individuals all have a role to play in providing positive prospects for Australia’s youth, and the foundation of their future is employment.
Our programs arm young people with the skills and experience they require to obtain meaningful employment, but we do not do it alone.
We actively work with job seekers and business to provide training, real world workplace exposure, confidence and the necessary skills to address youth unemployment.
To become involved or learn more about our successful initiative and ethos, see here.