I was having a heart-to-heart with one of our really bright students the other day and he expressed his worry about not being able to find a job in today’s competitive market when he completes his study. It is a worry many students completing their studies have, especially having worked so hard to achieve and maintain high scores throughout their studies. The Economist estimates that there may be as many as 290 million 15 to 24 year olds not currently employed with the reasons being varied – from lack of opportunity, to lack of skills.
Factors for Australia’s high youth employment rate
Think tank Social Ventures Australia suggests that the main reasons for the sustained growth in Australia’s high youth employment rate is due to a non-buoyant labour market for young people post the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), a downturn in the number of entry-level positions and apprenticeships available, and the casualisation of the workforce and the reality that the older employees are not transitioning to retirement at the same rate as they were before the GFC.
It got us at Dolph Business School thinking, what can we do to help our students? We already have a careers advisor who helps counsel and guide our students, but there must be something more we can do. We have decided to launch a series of programs in the next year which will commit to help our students become employable and employed post-graduation. We will work with our students to help them adapt to the demands of an evolving employment marketplace, and connect them with employers.
Useful tips to help you get a job
Whilst it is clear that youth unemployment is an issue that is bigger than any one person, any one company, or any one industry; here are some tips to help you get the job you want:
Apply for work experience, mentorship or training programs (if available) with the firm or the organisation you are interested to work with. This will give them a good idea about your character and capabilities and whilst you are there, it is a good idea to build formidable relationships with those in the organisation as they would come in handy when you want to apply for work there.
Build good and honest relationships with others – your character will be your greatest asset. Most employers prefer someone who is not only qualified, but also of good character. Employers need to know that you are reliable, that you would contribute positively to the team, and that you are an invaluable asset. Show them what you can do, and what you are made of!
Go out and meet people – join groups or societies within your universities or colleges, go to networking events, join student memberships within your industry bodies! This is one way for you to meet, impress and form solid relationships with others who are like-minded, or in the same industry. We have found that connections are the best way for you to get a job as a lot of the time, jobs are not advertised. Rather, they rely on people to recommend others for a role.
Build up a genuine relationship with a charity, social group, not-for-profit, or club you are passionate about. The involvements you have outside of work speaks volumes about your character. And you never know, you could meet someone there who could help you land that dream job of yours!
And most importantly, keep your skills and knowledge base UP-TO-DATE! It is very important that you keep yourself relevant – subscribe to your industry body’s newsletter to receive up-to-date industry information and read up about all the latest that is happening in your industry; or complete professional development courses, a short course, or even industry relevant training programs to keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date. With our ever changing world, regardless of what industry you are in, there will always be new developments, new technologies, new information, and potentially new legislation applicable. Keeping yourself up-to-date with this information will give you a competitive edge in today’s employment marketplace.
What can businesses do to help?
Businesses can also contribute to help reduce the rate of youth unemployment in Australia:
Consider developing your own internship, traineeship or pathway programs to help get youth candidates ‘job ready’.
Develop stronger ties to educational organisations and tertiary training programs. A recent report by McKinsey showed that whilst 72% of education of education providers believed young people were graduating job ready, only 44% of the employers felt the same way. When you have a relationship with an educational organisation such as ours, you can provide input as to whether our teaching and assessment materials, and training programs are suited to your organisations’ needs – further helping our students become job ready on graduation. Research shows that having a more engaged business model between employers and educators are key to developing a job-ready youth workforce.
Most importantly, reset your thinking and approach. Youths are keen on working hard, and dedicating themselves to their roles. Whilst many youths are not your long-term employee, many youths are dedicated and bring with them innovative ideas which can help change your business for the better.
For businesses who are interested in participating with us in our programs to help get our youths become employable and employed, drop us an e-mail and we can work out how we are able to help each other reduce the rate of youth unemployment in Australia! If you are a local or international student looking to study in Australia you can find out more about our certificate and diploma level courses here:
We offer Certificate and Diploma courses to both Australian and international students. Feel free to browse our website to find out more, or call us on 1300 236 574 and speak to one of our friendly staff members.