How to Help our Youth be Employed?
Have you heard of “dollar ready”? I recently engaged in a conversation with a business person and he said that their organisation was not employing people who were not “dollar ready”. They would employ skilled people from overseas rather than employ juniors or graduates, because they did not provide the dollars on day one. In other words, “dollar ready”.
This attitude is not shared by all but it is powerful language that makes you sit up and take notice. Complacency is not an option considering current trends.
- Youth unemployment is 13.3% and one in five are underemployed. Competition for jobs is intense.
- Graduate employment is the lowest it’s been since the 1992-93 recession.
- Apprenticeship numbers have declined since 2010.
The good news is forewarned is forearmed as my mother always used to say. There are a lot of things that people can do and are doing to help reverse these trends. These are just some:
The future is about transferable skills not necessarily about professions.
- When evaluating courses consider what skills can be transferred between industries.
- Just because you may complete an Electrical Engineering degree, or become a builder, you may be employed for your mathematical or analytical skills in another emerging profession.
- If a robot will be able to do your job, reconsider the value of that profession.
- Would you be a radiographer a pharmacist, or a fork lift driver with the technology that is becoming available?
- The answer may be yes, no or maybe. The key is you have investigated the question.
- Don’t underestimate the power of people skills, like empathy, listening and persuasion. If you need to improve your ability in these areas, switch off the computer and practice.
- This can start at any reasonable age and can come in different forms.
- Young students can help older people with computer skills. This demonstrates a willingness to work, initiative, provides some pocket money and can be mutually beneficial.
- University students who gain experience while studying are considered valuable by future employers. If unable to get relevant industry experience, remember some experience is better than no work experience.
- Engage in cross generational mentoring programs at schools, universities and businesses that provide them.
- Learn skills about being self-employed.
- Know that the future is about lifelong learning. It does not stop at the school gate. With all the fabulous technology, available learning can be creative and inexpensive.
- Don’t limit your thinking or experience to Australia think international as a possibility
- Develop networks and learn and share from others in many mediums. For example, 70% of all CV’s are not seen by a human, they are evaluated by an algorithm. What do you need to learn about this?
Be knowledgeable about what skills only humans can do.
Gain experience while studying.
Learning is endless.
The future of work is changing rapidly. The most effective way to meet the challenges and opportunities in the new work era, is for all of us to keep informed about relevant future trends, explore possibilities and learn from each other. Our youth are an important part of our future and our culture. It can no longer be acceptable that some businesses only consider financial benefits without social consequences. It is not only about being “dollar ready”.
This article was also published in the Eumundi Green.
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