Last Friday morning, it was our privilege to co-host the SMART Breakfast Seminar alongside NBRS Architecture at Macquarie University.
Thank you to Macquarie University for hosting us at their brand-new facility, designed by NBRS Architecture and of course a big thank you to all those in attendance. For those who missed the morning, here is an event recap.
The morning kicked off with a delicious breakfast and a time of networking with McCrindle and NBRS clients.
After a warm welcome from our MC Eliane Miles, Mark McCrindle opened the morning by providing a snapshot of our changing nation with the just-released census data. As we approach the next decade, Mark had a look back at the last decade and uncovered some of the megatrends that are redefining our multigenerational workforce.
We then heard from McCrindle’s Team Leader of Communications, Ashley Fell. Ashley gave us an insight into how our world is changing, therefore how our workplace leadership needs changing. Ashley shared the engagement equation on how to create culture, purpose and impact in our workplaces.
Next, it was over to NBRS, the brilliant architects who designed the new Macquarie University building. Directors, Andrew Duffin and James Ward shared how their vision for the muli-purpose conference facility was inspired by a new style of working space for academic institutions.
James Ward helped us understand workspaces in academia and the trends that present a blueprint for a new working environment.
Andrew Duffin, design director for the Macquarie University project, deconstructed the latest architectural trends for work, learning and living and how to create smart work spaces.
We’d like to say a big thank you to all of our valued clients and friends who attended the breakfast. Be sure to look out for our future events taking place in Sydney, and if you're interested in having one our McCrindle Speakers present at your next event, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
At McCrindle, our team of professional speakers are in demand for their ability to clearly communicate the insights in engaging ways. Presenting at a variety of national and international events including keynote addresses at conferences, onsite professional development workshops and strategy briefings for senior leaders, the McCrindle speakers are recognised as leaders in tracking emerging issues, researching social trends, and are regarded as expert social researchers, futurists and story tellers.
We were delighted to partner with Contiki to conduct new research into the aspirations, behaviours and fears of young Australians (18-36 years of age). The Contiki 2017 Youth Evolution Report explores some of the key trends influencing their attitude and lifestyle.
Feeling left behind
There is a strong sentiment among young people, specifically those aged 18-21, that they are being left behind economically. Especially in an era of flat wages growth and huge increases in home and living costs. Two decades ago, the average Sydney house price was around six times the average annual full time income. Today this has skyrocketed to 14 times the average annual full time income.
Ten years ago, over a third (34%) of 18-34 year olds indicated they were saving for a home, while this has dropped to below a quarter (24%) today. A significant two in five (40%) 18-21 year olds fear they will never be able to own a home. “We think of younger generations as having a youthful idealism and optimism, but this research shows young adults are not feeling as positive”, says Mark McCrindle.
Over half (51%) of 18-21 year olds fear not being able to live out their dreams due to financial and time constraints and 42% already regret not saving enough.
“The students of today are going to be the most formally educated generation to date; it is predicted that one in two will obtain a university degree. However, so too will they have higher amounts of debt when they enter the workforce; in fact, they might be the first generation since the Great Depression who will end up economically worse than their parents,”. - Mark McCrindle
Travel is a priority
Despite financial constraints and complexities regarding an independent lifestyle, 76% of 18-21 year olds want to travel more.
Although more than two thirds (69%) of this age group has the desire for financial freedom, just beyond this is their desire to travel and see the world (64%).
Around a third are also willing to go into debt for travel (36% of 18-21, and 39% of 22-36 year olds).
Delaying traditional life markers
With a focus on lifestyle rather than just wealth accrual, the emerging generations are spending more time living at home. They are also delaying traditional benchmarks of adulthood such as buying their first home, marrying, or starting a family.
A third of Australians (32%) aged between 18-36 years old continue to live in the parental home. This is a mix of both those who have never moved out as well as those who have moved back in with their parents. This is often due to high costs of living; labelling them as the “boomerang generation”.
Even though they are happy to live with mum and dad, this generation is very aspirational, with two in five 18-21 year olds (41%) stating they would not be happy if they ended up in a similar financial situation and lifestyle as their parents (cf. 33% of 22-36 y/o).
More socially aware
Despite their daily struggles, young Aussies care about the world they live in and are more socially aware than previous generations. The research found that climate change (18-21: 26%), gender equality (15%) and racism (12%) are issues that are high on young millennials’ agenda. The report also revealed that almost one in five (18%) 18-21 year olds already regret not making more of a difference in the world (cf. 22-36: 12%; 37+: 10%).
We think of the younger generations having youthful idealism and optimism yet the 2017 Global Millennial Study by Deloitte shows that the 20’s and early 30-somethings are not feeling optimistic.
Just 1 in 4 believes the year ahead will see an improvement politically and again a minority- only 1 in 3 believe we will see an uptick economically.
Where’s our share?
While it is little surprise that their number one concern is terrorism/political tension (56% are concerned), the second biggest concern (43%) is income inequality. There is a strong feeling amongst Generation Y (Millennials) that they are being left behind in this era of flat wages growth and massive home and living cost increases. Our recent ABS income and wealth analysis shows that Gen Y as a whole have 7% of Australia’s private wealth while they are more than twice this (15%) of the population while the older Boomers have an economic share three times that of their population share. There is a growing series of forecasts indicating that this may well be the first generation since the Great Depression which will end up behind their parents economically.
Big challenges but are they too big…
This study shows that Millennials, particularly in the developed world feel somewhat disempowered with a sense of high responsibility yet low influence to shape the challenges of the environment, social equality and direction of the country.
They are key contributors to society and believe that working within the system rather than radically fighting against it in a revolutionary approach is the best way forward.
Moving on…but to full time roles
Almost 1 in 2 (48%) expect to leave their current role within 2 years while less than 1 in 3 (31%) plan on still being there in 5 years. While the gig economy sounds exciting, almost three times as many (70%) would prefer full time work than a freelance work life (25%). Yet the challenge for Australian Gen Y’s is that while unemployment is still quite low (5.7%), the workforce is trending away from full time roles. In the last year, the Australian economy has added 130,000 part time roles but lost 40,000 full time roles.
The dot com kids see the downside of tech
Millennials are more negative than positive when it comes to technology particularly regarding the impacts it is having in the workforce. While it aids productivity, economic growth and flexibility, the majority of this generation believe that it will force them to retrain (51%) and that it is making the workplace more impersonal and less human (53%).
But they are warm towards Gen Z
The new next generation (Gen Z, born since 1995) is well regarded by Gen Y with most Y’s (53%) believing that the next generation will positively transform the workplace.
They also believe that Gen Z are well equipped and “futureproofed” in the workplace because of their creativity, flexibility and engaging leadership style.
When I was eight years old, my third-grade teacher, Ms. Calov, taught me to be an inquisitive learner. Through her contagious enthusiasm, she turned me from an ordinary kid who did only what was required, to a perceptive student who asked for more projects and always connected what I learned to the world around me.
The kinds of soft skills I learned from Ms. Calov are increasingly important for Gen Z, the generation cohort after millennials. To be prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow, these students need to be collaborative, innovative and responsive to their environment. Here's a look at how today's teachers are fostering curiosity, creativity and other skills in their students, with help from technology.
- Mark McCrindle
School is no longer just a place to learn math, science and writing. It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others. Technology can encourage this kind of interaction. For example, since Gen Z is the first digital-native generation, teachers are asking students for help using technology and to show their peers how to use new tools. Students are working on group projects when they’re in separate physical locations, developing their ability to communicate through written feedback and explain the thinking behind their suggestions.
Encourage lifelong learning and innovative thinking
Teachers today are encouraging students to have a love of learning and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, so they can adapt to new careers and industries. The average employee tenure in the U.S. is 4.2 years, a decline from 4.6 years two years prior. In Australia, we’re experiencing a similar effect where employees are staying in jobs for a shorter duration—the Australian average is three years. This means Gen Z will have 17 different jobs in their life, and they’ll need to continue to learn new skills and how to use new tools as they progress in their careers. By designing learning tasks that have a real-world application, teachers are engaging their students as problem finders and problem solvers—roles that are crucial in any job.
Foster an adaptive mindset that’s ready for change
As the economy shifts and new jobs like VR engineers and cognitive computer analysts emerge, the next generation will need to be able to learn quickly and connect the dots between related topics. To teach these skills, many teachers are “flipping” learning —asking students to reflect on global issues and synthesize information from videos, podcasts and written material, instead of simply assigning a chapter in a textbook.
Six decades later, I still remember Ms. Calov. Her inspiration reminds me of a Mother Teresa quote: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Ms. Calov created many ripples by fostering a love of learning and empowering a community of learners. But with technology, every teacher can teach students lifelong skills to carry them through their careers.
In Australian there are more than 3.7 million school students around 1.5 million university students with another 1.2 million tertiary students in the vocational education sector. This means that more than 1 in 4 Australians are students and so an understanding of the future of work is an important area.
Based on the current trends, almost half of the Year 12 students about to complete their exams will end up with a university degree. While they will start their earning years later, they will live longer and work later in life than any previous generation – on average, into their late 60’s. They will stay on average 1.8 years per job early in their career and average about 3 years per job over their working life which means they will have 17 different jobs in their lifetime, across an estimated 5 careers.
Some of the jobs they will hold don’t currently exist, just as mainstream jobs today such as app developer, social media manager and cyber security professional didn’t exist when they began their schooling. Already, working as a virtual reality engineer, cognitive computer expert, data visualisation designer or medical nanotechnologist is nothing unusual. This is very relevant in an area where almost 2 in 3 workers (63%) are white collar, employed in professional, managerial and administrative roles compared to less than half the workforce nationally (49%).
The last few years of disruption has shown us that any role that can be replaced by technology will be. While technology is great for automating systems and replacing repetitive functions, it is not strong at adapting to complex change and engaging with people. Therefore, to future proof careers and skills, today’s young people will need to develop their social interactions, their creative problem solving and their resilience to adapt to a constantly changing workplace. In other words, by being collaborative, responsive and innovative, today’s local students will be enabled to thrive in global careers, now and over the decades ahead.
1. Let’s look at education in Australia, how many students are there?
A total of 6.4 million students in Australia. 3.7 million school students, 1.5 million uni students and 1.2 million tertiary students in the vocational education sector.
2. So how will employment and careers look in the future for these current students?
Firstly, they will live longer than previous generations, work a lot later as well – into their late 60’s, they will move jobs more frequently, staying about 3 years per job, which means they will have 17 separate jobs in their life time and work in an estimated 5 careers. They will be a generation of lifelong learners having to plug back into education to upskill and retrain throughout their lives. In this era of online services like Uber, Airtasker and delivery services, we have seen the rise of the “gig-economy” and more of this generation will end up being freelancers, contractors or contingent workers than ever before. Recent research shows that a third of the national workforce currently participates in contingent work, and more than 3 in 4 employers believe that it will be the norm for people to pick up extra work through job related websites or apps.
3. So what are some of the jobs of the future and what is creating them?
Technology is the first driver. While it is replacing many jobs as seen in manufacturing sector it is also creating many new jobs such as virtual reality engineers, cyber security, nanotechnology digital services, block chain engineers.
4. Are there other factors that are creating emerging jobs?
Yes, the demographic change is creating new opportunities. Australia is growing and the ageing population means that we will need more people in health care aged care and retirement services than ever before. Our increasingly culturally diverse population is creating greater opportunities for people working human services, social work and translation services. And social trends and generational changes are creating new opportunities too. It’s a visual area, so data visualisation or indeed virtual reality applications have created new and emerging roles. Our lives are more complex and in an era of mobility, app development, user experience manager and online shopping experts have emerged to respond to our new customer needs.
5. So how do we future proof our careers in times of great change?
Firstly, be responsive. Everything that can be automated will be and if a job can be done more efficiently through technology, outsourcing or offshoring then it will be. Therefore we need to look at our industry and career and respond to the trends both local and global and upskill and retrain to remain relevant.
Secondly, be innovative. Computers are great at doing repetitive tasks but they are not designed to being creative or add innovation. If we can develop the ability to solve problems, improve systems, be proactive and add value our roles will be indispensable.
Finally, be collaborative. Future careers involves not just an understanding of technology but an understanding of people. Those who can effectively communicate, deal well with others, create a collaborative environment, lead people and motivate teams will always be in demand, and these are areas that computers cannot replace.
Social researcher and author Mark McCrindle recently shared his research on understanding and engaging with Generation Z on Google for Education, speaking about the insight of the trends in our schools and how the education system could be changed for the better. Below is a transcript of his session, which can be watched by clicking on the below photo.
Where does Generation Z fit into our learning communities?
Well, we’ve got the senior leaders, the grandparents in our society, the grandparents of Generation Z. They are the Baby Boomers, and they have had many impacts on education over many decades. You’ve got the emerging leaders in our educational facilities, Generation X, and then the parents of the older students. You’ve got Generation Y as the new parents and also the key and emerging generation of teachers. And of course you’ve got Generation Z themselves, born since the mid-1990s, the students of today. We need to understand them to be able to connect with them, to be able to educate them, and they have been influenced in different times. Clearly, understanding their world of technology is key to engaging with them.
Generation Z in five words; Global, digital, mobile, visual and social.
Generation Z are the world’s first truly global generation, not just through social networking and the friends that they have, but the fashions, the brands, the foods and the technologies are global. They are digital in terms of the tools that they use. We call them “Generation Glass” because its glass, not paper, that is the first medium of interaction and learning for them. They are mobile in terms of where they will live and work and their lifestyles. They’re visual in terms of how they consume content, not just the written forms of old. It’s a world of YouTube and visuals, it’s a world of Instagram and connectivity through the visual means, rather than just the written means. And of course they’re social, in terms of who influences them. It’s not just the experts, it’s not just the authority figures, but it’s the peer groups that influence them more than ever before.
More educated than any generation gone before
The education that is being provided for this generation is going to have to sustain them through more educational years than ever before. They truly will be lifelong learners. Indeed, for us Gen X’s about one in four Australians have a university degree. For Generation Y it’s already one in three. For Generation Z almost half of them will end up with a university degree in their lifetime. This foundational primary and secondary education will sustain them through more education and indeed a longer participation in the workforce than we’ve ever before seen. So what do we need to equip them with to future-proof their lives and careers in these changing times? Well, three words and keys to keep in mind.
Firstly, they need to be innovative. They will need to adapt and adjust in their own roles to remain relevant in these times of change. The average national Australian tenure of an employee in a job is currently three years. Now if that plays out in the lifetime of one of our school leavers today, and based of the trend of them working through their sixties, which will be the norm for Generation Z, it means that they will have seventeen separate jobs in their lifetime. They’ll upskill and retrain every few jobs, they’ll end up with five careers.
They’ll be working in jobs in the future that currently don’t exist, just as now as they start their roles, they’re working in jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago. Some of the jobs that have emerged just in the last couple of years include virtual reality engineers and cognitive computer analysts that can help bridge the gap between technology and humans. Data visualisation experts and drone piolets or UAV operators. It is a fast changing world and we have to equip them therefore, not just with the knowledge, but with the innovative skills to be resilient, to change, to adapt, and to so future-proof their direction.
It’s also about equipping them to be collaborative, because their roles won’t be locked into a hierarchical chart, an organisational chart of old where it was about authoritarian leadership and a chain of command, but rather they’ll need to be flexible and empowered, they’ll need to be entrepreneurial in outlook. Self-directed in their approach. It’s the world of the flat structure, the collaborative leadership model. And so equipping them to be collaborative in style is going to be key. In other words, sure we need to equip them with those cognitive skills, but we need to equip them with the relational skills as well. Yes, we’ve got to teach the eyes of the head, but we’ve got to equip them with the eyes of the heart. I guess I mean from that that it’s not just about the cerebral connection, but the relational and emotional engagement, that’s what a collaborative world needs.
So if we’ve got a generation that are innovative and collaborative, then my third tip is that we need to teach them to be responsive. They will have to learn to adapt and respond to the speed of the changes that they see. We’re all in a nonstop quest for relevance, for adaption, for responding to the changes, and that’s the case for Generation Z. We’ve got to equip them to respond to the changes and lead by an example in that way. The point of course is that we have to model being responsive and adaptive if we want our students to respond in the same way.
So it’s about creating a culture of learning that’s a collaborative, innovative and responsive environment, where we walk the talk, where we model the response to change, where we experiment and innovate to engage with an ever-changing generation. We are really dealing with educational structures like classes and curriculums and examinations that are of the nineteenth century, and we’re often educating in facilities that were built in the twentieth century, yet we’re connecting with a twenty-first century generation. That therefore requires us to be innovative and collaborative and responsive and to equip our students with those skills as well. Keep your eyes on the trends, engage with the next generation and you will equip them to be the leaders of the future.
About Mark McCrindle
Mark McCrindle is a social researcher with an international following. He is recognised as a leader in tracking emerging issues and researching social trends. As an award winning social researcher and an engaging public speaker, Mark has appeared across many television networks and other media. He is a best-selling author, an influential thought leader, TEDx speaker and Principal of McCrindle Research. His advisory, communications and research company, McCrindle, count among its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and leading international brands.
Australians want to be seen as being social and yet often prefer the comfort of their own home to going out and socialising. 45% of Australians always prefer to stay home, no matter what night of the week it is and a further 73% have turned down an invitation to go out on the basis that they preferred to stay home. Highlights from our recent research commissioned Connoisseur Desserts show that the typical Australian is making pretty similar choices when it comes to their social lives and (not) going on a night out.
77% of us report to dropping in on social events just to show our faces all, a lot or some of the time. For nearly 20% of 20-34 year olds, a ‘drop in’ often means attending more than one event on a night out – really making the most of rare occasion to socialise out of home.
69% of us are happy to cancel plans in the week of the event, and 14% admit they’ll drop out on the day. Seems old fashioned politeness goes out the window across all generations with one in three bailing on the day before/day off/at the time.
While spring and summer are the more social seasons for Australians, there is a lot of bailing out of events and catch ups in our increasingly busy lives. And ditching on work functions and colleague catch ups is where the piking happens most.
Avoiding the awkies
Seems some of us will go to extreme lengths to avoid the awkwardness that results from our bad bailing behaviour and will RSVP at the last minute (17%), send word with someone else (16%), avoid posting on social media what we’re doing instead (13%), avoid all contact with the organiser (10%) or avoid telling the organiser altogether (7%). The worst culprits, 20-34 year olds.
What happened to mateship?
The people who we are most likely to ditch are colleagues (41%) and friends (40%). Only 3% are most likely to bail on partners (phew!) and 16% on family events.
We are most likely to cancel our attendance at work functions (24%) and casual catch ups with friends (22%). Conversely, 34% of 20-24 year olds are more likely to bail on drinks with friends than on work functions (7%).
The fall back excuse for last minute cancellations is feeling unwell for 66% of us. Family commitments are the next most used excuse at 36%, and a sick family member at 23%. Lame excuses such as stuck in traffic (6%) and a sick pet (4%) make the list. Just 11% of people chose to fess up that they just don’t want to go.
Loving our downtime
For most of us, cancelling plans to go out means we’ve chosen instead a night spent relaxing on the couch (34%), sleeping (32%), watching TV (23%), or hanging out with a loved one (30%).
It’s really interesting to see the rising trend towards staying in. It demonstrates the impact that technology has on every aspect of our lives – including redefining our social interactions and what that means for human relationships in the future. An indulgent night in and eating a favourite dessert in front the TV is fast becoming a socially acceptable and often, preferred form of entertainment in our increasingly busy and complex lives.
The EFF will inform and inspire those who are seeking to understand this generation and simultaneously envision a school where the learning captures the hearts and minds of young people.
This one-day event will showcase results from new research on the education sector with a niche focus on the future of education. The research explores the trends, themes and influential factors that relate to the future of education in Australia. Areas scoped through the research include technology, generational transitions in staffing and leadership roles within the education sector, pedagogical styles, physical learning spaces, social licence, needs of students of the future and broader demographic shifts across Australian communities.
Teachers, employers and parents want to see younger people reach their potential, however the problem is that the pathway to productivity and living a life of high capacity and great quality is not a straight line for Gen Y and Gen Z’s. In an era of increasing change, greater complexity and global mega-trends these younger generations need mentors to grow them, guide them and give them the feedback they need to develop and mature.
At McCrindle we know these younger generations and we believe in their potential to achieve greatness. Managers, CEO’s, team leaders, teachers and parents have a unique opportunity to mentor these younger generations through formal and informal conversations. Gen Y and Z’s are keen be mentored. That means they want to be listened to, not lectured at, encouraged and asked open-ended questions that help their decision making process.
The goal of mentoring young people is to expand their values and worldview, strengthen their character and enlarge their personal and professional capacity. These younger generations desire opportunities for personal growth through a friendly and supportive partnership.
Mentors and leaders in society today have an opportunity to shape these younger generations. The challenge mentors often face is around how to turn general conversations into character and skill development.
7 Developmental Areas mentors need to cover
PRIORITIES: Help these generations focus amongst digital distractions
RESILIENCE: Highlight their current experience and strengths to provide assurance in anxious moments
AUTHENTICITY: Showcase the benefits of community in and above digital connectivity
INSIGHT: Provide greater vision to make wise life decisions
ENERGY: Encourage decisiveness to remove blockers, overcome obstacles and move forward
BALANCE: Teach them how to say a positive 'no' in a busy ‘yes’ work/life culture, to maintain a healthy lifestyle
GREATNESS: Inspire the best in these young people as they move through the transitional stages of life.
Understanding the next generation of volunteers and donors
A specific area of focus in the 2016 Australian Communities Report is analysis of volunteers and supporters aged under 30 and in this session, Geoff Brailey, Research Executive at McCrindle Research, will share the findings as well as give practical insights on engaging young people in community organisations and developing the leadership capacity of the next generation of staff and volunteers.
Analysis by Eliane Miles on new research released this week from the OECD highlights the challenge for young people entering their working years, particularly considering their transition from education.
While unemployment in Australia at just 5.6% is one of the lowest in the OECD, the number of Australian young people not in education, employment, or training (NEETs) has increased by 100,000 since the time prior to the Global Financial Crisis (2008), rising from 10.5% to 11.8% of all those aged 16 to 24 – comprising a total of 580,000 young people today.
The challenges affecting youth unemployment most often lie in a young person’s transition periods. It is normal for young people to spend some time out of education and work – in fact, 2 in 3 young people aged 16 to 24 will spend up to 3 months out of education and work – but the challenge becomes when this period of time becomes greater and the ‘relevance clock’ begins to tick. When 3 months eventuates into a year, or longer, this can lead to cycles of unemployment. Today, 1 in 5 young people aged 16 to 24 spend 12 months or more out of employment, education, or training, and it is these young people that will face the most significant challenges as they try to enter or re-enter the workforce.
The demographic realities play a significant risk factor in young people falling into a cycle of unemployment. 60% of NEETS are women, and while just 3% of young people are indigenous, this percentage rises to 10% among NEETs. There is also a strong correlation between low educational attainment and struggles in entering the workforce - 37% of students who leave school in Year 10 end up not being in education, employment, or training, compared with just 11% of those with a tertiary qualification.
Watch Eliane Miles on 7 News below:
240,000 young people looking for work
Young people out of work are often stereotyped as “slackers” but in fact 41% of NEETs (238,000) are actively looking for work but unable to find a job. Helping these young people find work needs to become a national priority and a focus needs to be given to their education to employment transition. Studies tell us that the key transition in a young person’s life is from learning to earning – from study to employment. If young people are not job ready, they should be directed to a course or traineeship that will help them get job-ready. Greater collaboration between actors (schools, VET providers, tertiary providers, employment services, childcare providers, and employers) is needed, along with a broader focus on not just higher education but vocational learning.
The remaining 59% who are inactive NEETS
Questions are then most often asked about inactive NEETs – the 40% of NEETs who say they would not like a job, and the 19% who would like a job but aren’t currently looking. What is it that has discouraged them or dissuaded them from entering the workforce?
Educationally, we are seeing a significant push towards tertiary educational attainment. A generation ago in 1986, more than half of all students left school in Year 10 with most going on to start work/vocational training. Today, 9 in 10 young people go on to complete Year 12, and the majority of these enter higher education. Nationally, however, 1 in 5 university students drop out in their first year of university, clearly not being ready for the task at hand or convinced of the choice they have made.
And while we are seeing an increase in university qualifications (our predictions estimate that 1 in 2 Gen Z will have a university qualification compared to 1 in 3 Gen Ys and 1 in 4 Gen Xs), we must keep in mind that everything is not just about higher education or STEM skills. It’s about developing a broad skills base that will continue to sustain Australia’s growing economic and demographic footprint.
Challenges in the skills sector
While the VET sector has seen a 50% increase in students placed in apprenticeships since the early 2000s, the sector is also subject to significant inefficiencies. Traineeship and apprenticeship completion rates are low, qualifications are hard to navigate, some federal funding for programs has been withdrawn, and employment service providers geographically only target 60% of NEETs, leaving 200,000 youth un-serviced by employment services.
The benefits of work are more than just economic
In conversations with young people, it serves us to be reminded that jobs do more good for all of us than just money. They provide a young person with a sense of independence, self-esteem, and social connection, as well as the ability to learn and stay future-proofed. The longer that young people stay out of employment, the more they are to lose connection and become social disenfranchised, leading to greater problems.
The challenge of entry will only accelerate
As we look ahead to the next 10-15 years of Australia’s job market, we estimate that 5.1 million of Australia’s jobs will become digitally disrupted. Today’s savvy school leaver is training themselves for jobs that don’t yet exist. The reality is that new jobs which will be created are more complex than the jobs they replace. If a young person is locked out of the workforce today, it is likely that they will face an even more difficult re-entry in years ahead as the skills required to fulfilk workforce demands increase.
The challenge of financial independence will also accelerate
Commonwealth funding will increasingly become tighter. The economy has natural limits, and supporting an ageing population base and those with disabilities is naturally a more pressing national priority than supporting those who can work but are choosing not to. It’s just a matter of time before government benefits to NEETs will dry up.
Having said that, it’s also important to remember that 25% of inactive NEETs and 41% of NEETs looking for work in fact have not received any government benefits to support them. For these young people, support has largely fallen back to the informal economy, with support provided by family members and friends.
The earnings challenge for today’s emerging generation
It is in fact more financially difficult to get ahead early in life than it once was. In the 1970s, for example, when many Baby Boomers graduated from university, the average graduate starting salary was equal to the average full time adult wage, while today the average graduate starting salary of $54,000 is $26,000 less than average full time annual earnings. Student debt is also higher than ever, with more than 1 in 3 (34%) registered debt agreements belonging to 25-34 year-olds, and the average university debt estimated to be around $28,000. Today’s young generations are actually beginning their earning years in more debt than we’ve seen before. Not to mention the multi-fold increase in the cost of housing – a generation ago the average Sydney house price was 5 times annual average earnings while today the average house price is 13 times the average annual full time earnings of $80,000.
Keeping it in perspective
If young people can continue to accelerate their learning, they’ll have greater chances of success. Just 11% of bachelor-degree educated young people are still looking for full time work within 4 months of completing their course, and the strength of Australia’s economy is creating positive opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship for young people to place their stamp on Australia's future.
ABOUT ELIANE MILES
Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the mega trends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways.
From the key demographic transformations such as population growth and the ageing workforce to social trends such as changing household structures and emerging lifestyle expectations, from generational change to the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends.
With academic qualifications in community engagement and postgraduate studies in international development and global health, Eliane brings robust, research-based content to her engaging presentations and consulting. As a social researcher, she has been interviewed on these topics on prominent television programs such as National Nine News and Today, as well as on radio and in online media.
To have Eliane Miles present to your organisation on Generation Z, the state of today’s education sector, or the future world of work, contact McCrindle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 8824 3422