The transition for the young from school to the australian workforce appears increasingly complex and appears to be lower paid and longer in duration than ever before, according to some good analysis of the 2016 census by Inga Ting and Ri Liu from the ABC.
The challenge for all involved in education, training, employment and policy development is understanding and recognising the pace at which “new normals” present on the policy-horizon. This appears increasingly difficult to do and many are often embarrassingly underestimating these changes.
These trends should give all involved at least a moment [or two] of pause. Understanding these changes and the impacts these produce within and upon what we understand the labour market to be is increasingly complex, yet public debate often reflects calls for simplistic and only “historically relevant” policy responses.
I consider my own transition from school-to-work. Four  “entry” tests for two banks and two public service intakes, one state, one national. No experience [straight from school] and completing a literacy/numeracy test produced three  offers for full-time, permanent work.
Consider the 2016 census shows:
- Australia’s youngest workers are increasingly concentrated in a handful of hospitality and food preparation jobs
- Workers aged 15-34 make up 84 per cent of fast food cooks (up from 75 per cent in 2006), 79 per cent of bar attendants and baristas (up from 73 per cent) and 66 per cent of cafe workers (up from 56 per cent).
The director of the University of Melbourne’s Youth Research Centre, Professor Johanna Wyn notes:
“Instead of having a broad area of tasks people might do, many industries are breaking jobs down into smaller components. People get one area of work and are told to just do that,”
“It’s almost less professional — and it’s very, very unsatisfying. In the past, jobs were more rounded and they might evolve … People could build something and work out their gifts and skills.”
- ABC – ‘Why millennial are getting stuck in low-paid jobs’
- University of Melbourne’s Youth Research Centre
- ABS Census