Class of 2017
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“I think we’re worse off. It’s much harder to break into the market and buy a first home. Today’s generation is at a disadvantage because of the presence of social media, (which) presents an unrealistic picture of other people’s lives.” THOUSANDS of Year 12s are in the midst of their final exams with high expectations their hard work will set them on the path to their dream careers.
But can they, and the next generation working their way through school, realistically aspire to enjoy the quality of life of their parents?
It is one of the key questions posed in the Sunday Mail’s Your Say, SA survey.
The Foundation for Young Australians says “no” unless radical changes are made to the education system, while some local experts are more bullish.
FYA chief executive Jan Owen said more of today’s youths were finishing school and filling universities but school standards were slipping relative to other countries and uni graduates were finding it harder to find jobs in their chosen fields.
The barista with two degrees was a reality, she said, part-time and casual work endemic, and many were left to fight it out in the “gig economy”, hopping between freelance projects with no security or superannuation.
“The story is pretty bleak around where young people are right now compared to their parents,” Ms Owen said, though noting the multiple careers young people could expect over their lives were potentially “much
Real wage growth for young people (aged 15-24) was half the rate across all age groups between 1985 and 2015.
There are 3.4 times more young people underemployed compared to 1985. There are now more part-time than fulltime workers aged 15-24.
More than half of uni students and 71 per cent of VET students are being trained for more interesting than the linear path of their parents and grandparents”.
Despite being notionally in the curriculum, Ms Owen said the skills employers wanted, such as communication, problem solving, critical thinking jobs that will be radically affected by automation.
62 per cent of newly employed VET graduates and 29 per cent of uni graduates are in jobs not related to their course.
From 1985 to 2015, the average number of years it took to save a home loan deposit in Adelaide rose from five to nine. and cultural intelligence, were not being developed in a school system still geared to isolated subjects. She said barriers between each arm of the education system, from preschool to university, needed breaking down.
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“Yes. I’ve been given more opportunities. My parents grew up in the country. At the start of last year I came to Adelaide for boarding school. With more experience and opportunities there’s a better chance at gaining employment.”
Initiatives such as the Children’s University run by Adelaide University should be the norm, not the exception, while Australia should follow the UK down the path of apprenticeships in nontrade areas, combining realworld experience with tertiary study.
Prof Michael O’Neil, who heads the SA Centre for Economic Studies at Adelaide University, was confident many young people would reach or surpass their parents’ quality of life despite work becoming more insecure.
Prof O’Neil said they would achieve it by running their own businesses, living in units or apartments with low upkeep costs, having both partners working and a Study pharmacy at UniSA or become a police cadet. Pharmacist or police officer.
“There are a lot more career options, a lot more degrees where you can specialise. But in terms of financial opportunities, it’s not that great. You have to do what makes you happy and pays the bills.” maximum of two children. But they would face higher health costs and higher taxes to prop up the ageing population.
Another Adelaide University expert Prof Chris Leishman said his own housing affordability modelling “predicts in SA things don’t get much worse in the next seven or eight years”.
He said federal job growth projections were higher for greater Adelaide than nationally over the next five years, with food and accommodation and construction among the boom areas, but there would be zero growth in technology-based jobs.