As the smoke of New Year’s fireworks clears and the merriment of the festive season subsides, thousands of young job seekers will be honing their resumes and embarking on the next stage of adulthood, seeking part or full-time employment.
So in a world where the jobs landscape is rapidly evolving, what’s ahead for young job seekers in 2017?
Young job seekers hoping to enter the workforce are confronted by an environment where youth unemployment sits at a 13.5% with 300,000 workers aged between 15 and 24 either under-employed or unemployed altogether.
Their quandary is intensified by a situation where the skills they need to obtain a job are hard to come by and a landscape where the nature of employment is rapidly changing.
Unlike those who have preceded them, this generation of young job seekers will see more career changes in their lifespan than ever before, but the access to a solid a starting point may be more difficult to to come by.
Where once a degree or trade may have guaranteed them a job, now young people require real-world skills and experience in addition to qualifications. Yet a tough economic market means employers may be less likely to gamble on young workers to provide them that essential “first job” exposure.
The employment landscape is shifting due to emerging technology and an ageing population. While technology sees a decline in some traditional first jobs as workers like checkout operators are superseded by automation, it also opens up new opportunities for networking, qualification acquisition, career choices like coding, and different employment terms such as freelancing.
The Australian Government’s Department of Employment predicts that in the five years to 2018: “Employment growth is projected to be particularly weak for Labourers (up by just 10,800 or 1.0 per cent) and Machinery Operators and Drivers (25,800 or 3.3 per cent), while below average growth is also projected for Clerical and Administrative Workers (69,400 or 4.1 per cent), Technicians and Trades Workers (90,300 or 5.3 per cent) and Sales Workers (73,000 or 6.7 per cent).”
Meanwhile careers in aged care, health and education are expected to rise, with highly skilled workers who have a bachelor’s degree or higher the most sought after job applicants as the baby boomers enter old age and a large influx of children enters the education system.
The good news for young workers is the hospitality industry remains steady with the Government noting: “Australia’s largest employing industry sector – Cafés, Restaurants and Takeaway Food Services – is also projected to make a large contribution to employment growth over the five years to November 2018 (up by 43,700), although the projected rate of employment growth in this sector is only moderate (8.5 per cent).”
The reality is employment is based on experience and young workers find this the most challenging element of obtaining a job. They are faced with the double-edged sword that to gain employment you need experience but you need to first have a job to get it.
Meanwhile the skills required for employment are not just confined to qualifications. They also involve the “soft skills” of confidence, problem solving, and communication.
What we do
The Father James Grant Foundation’s Mission Engage bridges the gap between motivated young people seeking employment and the experience they need to gain it. Each year we run a series of programs involving on-the-job training, skill acquisition and confidence building.
We work with some of the biggest names in business, partnering with them to provide young people with work experience and industry specific skills, while giving business access to potential employees keen to be part of their workplace.
How we can benefit together
There are two options for organisations looking to be part of the Mission Engage program. Business can take an active role through work experience and training or make a contribution through sponsorship.
We have proudly worked with leading organisations in the past few years in both capacities, providing young people with real skills and employment opportunities, and furnishing businesses with motivated employees who have demonstrated their abilities in the workplace.
To learn more about the Father James Grant Foundation’s Mission Engage program, our achievements and future initiatives, see here.