Sweeten the deal for good start
Young people can find it tough getting into the workforce but Cara Jenkin discovers help is at hand
TEENS and young adults need to know a good job does not always come through a university degree, nor will opportunities fall in their lap.
As the youth unemployment rate continues to rise, workers under the age of 25 must be prepared to work hard and choose the right options for them – but employers, equally, need to give them a go.
The unemployment rate for those aged 15 to 24 is about double that of the general population, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.
In January, the youth rate was 12.7 per cent – less than the year high of 14.1 per cent in the same month the previous year but much more than the general population’s 6 per cent unemployment rate.
In some areas, particularly country or outer suburban areas, youth unemployment can be as high as 25 per cent.
Institute for Workplace Skills and Innovation chief executive Nicholas Wyman says university is the ‘go-to’ option for too many young people who fail to investigate the job outcomes at the end of a degree.
Wyman, author of the new book Job U, says often they do not put in the hard work beyond getting the degree to increase their chances of securing a job at the end. He also says often there are better options for the jobseeker elsewhere.
“Australia still does generally have this miopic focus, as I put it, that universities are a natural path way or progression,” he says. “If a son or daughter would go off to TAFE, people announce that less proudly.”
He stresses he is not “anti-university” and higher education is essential for some jobs, with many graduates finding a job after study.
But too many will waste their time and money on a degree with fewer jobs than graduates.
“I think a lot of people drift off to university, hoping that something will come to them about what they will do for the rest of their lives,” he says.
“You’ve got people who are going (to university), racking up this debt and graduating from university with a solid footing in theoretical subjects but have little or no exposure to the training in technical and practical skills,