University graduates and school leavers struggle to transition into full time work and it’s taking a massive toll on young Australians, new research has warned.
Commissioned by Apprenticeship Support Australia (ASA) the Skillsroad 2017 Youth Census nationally surveyed 13,227 Aussies aged between 15 and 24 to establish why employers struggle to attract and keep young staff.
Researchers found links between average levels of wellbeing to high job turnover, the national skills shortage, increasing university and vocational dropout rates, and a myriad of employment issues.
ASA Managing Director Darren Cocks said young people typically rank their salary as the most important consideration when applying for a role.
“Young people are likely to prioritise money over career paths that they’re genuinely passionate about, increasing the chances of them ending up in a career they don’t enjoy and impacting their confidence and resilience,” he said.
“Given, when an employee resigns, it can cost as much as 400 per cent of their salary, the cost of churn is a heavy burden for many companies.
“Pursuing careers that are intrinsically important to young people is far more likely to result in engaged staff who enjoy their work, have fewer sick days, benefit from higher levels of wellbeing and are therefore more likely to stay longer.”
Currently, just over half (52.3 per cent) of young people still at school are planning to attend university, despite fears of financial hardship for some and a lack of jobs in some sectors after graduation.
Only 15.8 per cent are considering VET pathways—including apprenticeships and traineeships—despite VET graduates being more likely to be in employment post completion than university graduates.
The census also found parents play a massive role in shaping the careers of young people as they were ranked the most likely person to turn to for career advice.
“We need to supply parents with information and tools so that career conversations are positive, un-biased and comprehensive,” said Cocks.
“These conversations need to happen early and present youth with all the options so they have the best chance of choosing the path that suits them, makes them happy—minimising the risk of a false start—and increases wellbeing.”