Young people and your business

Published on 01 November 2021


Who are young people and how are they different from other generations?

Generation Z are born between 1995 and 2009. They are the largest generation so far, making up around 20 per cent of Australia’s population, and are currently at school, doing further education or entering the workforce.

Some Gen Z facts:

• 1 in 2 predicted to get a university degree

• By 2025, they will make up 27 per cent of the workforce

• Predicted to work 18 jobs across six careers and live in 15 homes in their lifetime

• Part of a global generation of 2 billion people

• They are coming of age in a global pandemic.

Supporting young people in employment

Thirty five per cent of young people (25 and under) are unemployed or underemployed and there are less 25-year-olds in fulltime work now then there were 15 years ago.

On the Mid North Coast, youth unemployment and disengagement are a long term challenge, with rates above the national average. Insecure work, casualisation of the workforce and now a global pandemic has made it increasingly difficult for young people to make their way in the new world of work.

That’s a real shame, because young people have the skills and attitudes your business needs to survive and thrive in the 21st century.

Do you need a new perspective?

Young people don’t have pre-conceived ideas of what work is or how it should be, so if you want to change things, young people are usually up for it. They have a truly global perspective — remember these young people grew up on social media — they’re open-minded and have been trained in equity and diversity from birth. They’re not stuck in a rut or wedded to old ways, because not only are they new to the workforce, they also know the world is changing, and it’s changing fast.

Are you flexible?

Young people don’t have a Monday to Friday 9—5 mindset - they like the flexibility of being able to choose when, where and how they work. It’s likely that the future of work will include a mix of remote and face to face work, and where other generations could only dream of such a thing, Gen Z expects it.

Do you have a growth mindset?

Remember all those different careers and jobs young people are expected to have? The only way a person can do that is if they are constantly learning and applying new skills.

There are two types of skills:

• Enterprise or transferable skills such as problem solving, communication, team-work and creativity

• Technical skills specific to a particular task, role or industry

What can you offer the young person you want to hire?

They have a big future in front of them. Are you up with the latest…? Have you noticed how much more complex communicating and marketing is these days? Whether it’s your customers, your staff, your suppliers and even your friends and family, there are so many new and evolving platforms and options. Gen Z were literally born for this moment. Also - if you want to connect into a younger market, you need a Gen Z on your team.

Ask them! Not sure if you’ve noticed, but Gen Z were not taught that children should be seen and not heard. They expect to have a place at the table, they have opinions, and they’re not afraid to voice them. So, if you want to know what your young employee wants and needs from their workplace, ask them. You might be surprised. From our friends at Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast Engaging early Young people start thinking about the kind of work they would like to do well before they leave school. For this reason, it makes sense to create connections between industry and schools, so that kids have a broader palette of work options to consider.

Resources and programs available are:

• School-based apprenticeships and traineeships NSW Gov (SBAT): where high school students have the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship, work part time and complete their schooling. • Vocational Education and Training Commonwealth Gov (VET): Some schools offer their students the opportunity to study VET courses as part of their HSC, giving young people the opportunity to learn practical skills, giving them a pathway into a wide range of occupations straight out of school.
• Industry Training Hubs are an Australian Government Initiative to improve opportunities for young people in regions with high youth unemployment, with a hub located in the Coffs Harbour/Grafton area. Each hub has a career facilitator who will work with year 11 and 12 students, as well as creating better connections between schools and local industry, repositioning vocational education and training as a first-choice option. For more information, contact local Career Facilitator Kerren Law on: 0490 304 755 or [email protected]
• Regional Industry Education Partnerships (RIEP): The RIEP program is a State Government initiative to create connections between industry and secondary schools to support students in planning their future career pathways. Local RIEP officers are there to facilitate connections between businesses, career advisors, and students. For more information, please contact: o Mid North Coast (North) - Erin Lute on 0457 096 553 or [email protected] o Mid North Coast (South) - Sam Palise on 0413 430 091 or [email protected] Resources:
• Employing young workers – a best practice guide for managers and employers from Fair Work
• Recruit young people for your business – Commonwealth programs Youth Jobs PaTH and Transition to Work. Get information on internships, traineeships, apprenticeships, and wage subsidies. • Youth Employment Program – Smart Skilled and Hired helps young people and local businesses in NSW.
• The advantages of hiring young employees – information and resources from headspace.
• Preparing Young People for the New Work Reality - Following the journeys of 14,000 young people over a decade, the New Work Reality report reveals the factors that accelerate the transition to full-time work, including the skills, mindset and confidence young people need to navigate our changed world of work.
• Gen Z and Gen Alpha – characteristics of the emerging generations.
• Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on the emerging generations report. LOCAL JOBS PROGRAM The Local Jobs Program is an Australia Government initiative which brings together expertise, resources, and access to funding at the local level to focus on reskilling, upskilling and employment pathways to support Australians back into work. It is part of supporting Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID19 pandemic. For more information, please contact Mid North Coast Employment Facilitator Stephen Saunders on 0409 580 741 or [email protected].