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Young people feel businesses don’t align with their values

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There is a worrying disconnect between young people and businesses; the young believe Australian businesses are slow to align with their values and are a bit out of date in their attitudes.

Over half (53%) of students agreed with the following statement, 'Businesses are stuck in the past and not up to date with the modern workforce.' Of students, 57% think this is because businesses don’t recognise the importance of work/life balance and 55% hold the view that businesses perceive their generation as lazy.

The results are from a survey conducted by job site indeed which also found 20% of Aussie students feel education has not prepared them for work at all.

“Despite stereotypes, younger millennials and Generation Z are really eager to participate in the workforce. In fact, almost 20% of young people consider themselves ‘underemployed’, meaning they’d like to work more hours,” says Callam Pickering, APAC Economist at Indeed.

The unease is prevalent, more than a third of young people feel overwhelmed and fearful about career decisions, around half (53%) of young people believe their education has adequately prepared them for the world of work; 20% say their education has not prepared them 'at all' for working life.

While 53% of students feel certain or confident about choosing a career path, over a third (36%) say they feel overwhelmed, confused or fearful about deciding on their career direction – possibly due to a lack of support in the decision-making process.

Young people are worried about not having enough relevant experience (32%), are unsure about available job opportunities (21%) and are unclear on what jobs are suitable for them (13%).

When it comes to actually finding employment, online resources (38%) and word of mouth (34%) are students’ preferred methods of looking for a job. 65% of millennials use online resources to make career decisions, 20% rely on advice from their parents, and surprisingly, only 2% are influenced by their careers advisor.

For regional students, the most popular career paths were: Education, Childcare or Teaching (13%); Medical Sciences and Medicine (10%); and Psychology (7%). Rural students were most likely to choose careers paths in Nursing/Midwifery (13%); Health and Sports Sciences (11%); and Agriculture and Environment (5%). This compares to students in Capital Cities who were most likely to choose white collar careers, with Law (10%); Advertising, Media, Journalism and Comms (8%); Arts, Humanities and Politics (7%), and Business and Commerce (7%) ranking as the most popular career paths.

A whopping 91% of students are considering working overseas at some point in their careers, with the UK (37%) and USA (24%) the preferred destinations for these aspiring travellers.

Although 85% of Australians aged 16–23 believe that computers and technology will take away jobs in various industries, interestingly only 1% plan on working directly in tech, which suggests the current skills gap in the tech sector may increase further.

“However, our survey shows that young people are also feeling unprepared and confused about the world of work and this means that for some, landing on the right career path or first job can be a really tricky experience. It seems that sharing helpful online resources is the best way for parents and teachers to reach out to kids and guide them through the complexities of finding work," Pickering said.

The survey, conducted in December 2018/January 2019, surveyed 2395 young people (between 16–23 years old) across Australia.


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