Forget the stereotypes you’ve heard about lazy millennials who don’t want to work – young Australians are becoming increasingly concerned about their ability to find a job and achieve their career goals after high school.
According to Mission Australia’s recent survey of almost 15,000 young Australians aged 15 to 19, over a quarter are worried there won’t be enough opportunities for employment and training in their local community when they finish school.
Toby Hall, Mission Australia CEO, said that when young people can’t get a strong start, the future of the country is at risk.
“Our next generation of workers are all too aware of this rapidly growing problem, and very few believe they will be immune to the consequences when they finish their secondary or tertiary education,” Hall said.
The survey found that while 71 per cent of respondents believe there are sufficient local opportunities for employment generally, only half stated they felt the level of local opportunities were sufficient in the job or occupation they would like to have.
Currently, almost 35 per cent of the respondents are employed part-time, while another 35.6 per cent are not employed but looking for some kind of work.
Males were found to be more likely to plan on undertaking an apprenticeship than females, at 15.8 per cent compared to 4.2 per cent of young women. On the other hand, females are more likely to plan on going to university, at 71 per cent compared to 57 per cent of males.
Overall, just over 13 per cent of young Australians plan to attend TAFE or college, and almost 9 per cent plan to start an apprenticeship.
The top three desired industries of future employment for females are healthcare and medical, advertising, arts and media, and education and training, while males are more likely to want to work in trades and services, government and defence, and engineering.
The survey also found that young women are becoming more concerned about equity and discrimination in the workplace, with almost 27 per cent listing it as one of the top three issues facing the country.
“There is clearly a strong sentiment amongst young women that there are major impediments to equality for people from different genders, cultural groups, and background. All young Australians deserve to feel equal and respected in their community, but these results indicate we still have a long way to go,” Hall said.
However, despite the concern about the future, young Australians are still optimistic. Almost half the respondents stated they were positive about the future, with 18.7 per cent saying they were very positive.
“If we take this opportunity to listen to their voices and act on their concerns, there remains great hope for the future of our country and the next generation of Australians who will lead it,” Hall said.