It can often feel confusing to be a young person seeking to take their first steps into the world of work. Advice, research, statistics and conversation around youth employment are often varied – and unhelpfully inconsistent.
Then we throw a global pandemic into the mix, and things really start to get weird!
At Explore Careers, we value an honest, open approach to communicating with you about all the things that impact you and your future. We’re not going to wrap things up in a nice bow just to make you feel better – we’re all about giving you the facts so you can make the very best, informed decisions for you and your future goals.
There’s a lot in the media right now about youth employment, and we’re sure you’ve got a lot of different voices in your life trying to give you helpful guidance.
Here’s an up-to-date, honest low down of all things youth employment, unemployment, and what it means for you right now.
First Things First: What Do We Mean By Youth Employment & Unemployment?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) regularly compiles data that relate to various employment, education and training outcomes in Australia.
They aim to highlight trends, changes, growth and decline to better inform individuals and policy decision makers to implement changes that will help make improvements and further support different groups.
This research includes the fluctuations in youth employment, education and training, and unemployment.
It covers all forms of employment, including:
- Full and part-time positions
- Casual and contract
- Seasonal occupations
- Gig economy roles
- Apprenticeships and traineeships
With this data, decisions can be made about what the future of youth employment might look like and how organisations can work together now to make positive improvements.
What’s the Latest on Youth Employment?
It’s no secret that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted young Australians.
Young people make up 14% of the workforce but bore 55% of total job losses during lockdowns. There are lots of reasons for this, namely:
- Younger people were in more entry-level roles, making them less essential during the pandemic.
- Younger people were often the last to be hired, meaning they have fewer rights than longer-term employees, who are usually entitled to more redundancy payouts and benefits packages.
The most recent report on employment across Australia was released by ABS earlier this month.
Following the recent pandemic, ABS have been tracking the growth and decline across different employment levels, and current stats for youth unemployment as of July 2022 were:
- Youth unemployment rate decreased to 7.9%.
- Youth unemployment rate was 3.7 pts lower than in March 2020.
These figures show a positive turn in youth unemployment following two tumultuous years.
Youth employment has always been a critical issue – we reckon that following the pandemic, we’ll start to see some significant shifts in how young people are protected in the workplace.
3 Need to Know Facts When it Comes to Youth Employment Stats
Stats and data are only one piece of a much bigger pie regarding youth unemployment.
Many things are outside your control when getting started with your career, but there are also plenty of things that are well within your control.
When learning or hearing about youth employment (or unemployment), we think it’s vital to remember:
1. Stats are only a snapshot of a much bigger picture.
While these stats are helpful on some level, they don’t drill down to individual experiences – nor do they provide insights into some of the amazing success stories around young people and the workplace.
These numbers can give you a little bit of an idea of what things are looking like across Australia, but it’s also essential to pay attention to your local labour market information as well as the industry growth and employment opportunities for the sectors you’re interested in.
2. Focus on what’s within your control.
Youth employment and unemployment rates are based on a wide range of factors – lots of which aren’t within your control to change – so why worry about them too much?
It’s much more empowering to focus on what you can control, change and have a say on. This includes:
- Snapping up work experience opportunities and volunteering roles to help boost your skills and workplace readiness.
- Making time to speak with career professionals and individuals in your chosen industries to learn as much as possible about what you need to focus on for success.
- Researching academic and educational pathways to find the one/s that work for you and your ideas of entering the workforce.
3. Find your own path.
Sometimes it feels like there will also be negativity around young people and the workplace, and we’re not going to say it isn’t a challenge for young people today – but you have a choice.
You can either listen to the challenges and obstacles and think, “well, it all sounds too hard; why bother?”
Or you can think, “I know just how to prove them wrong!”
Never underestimate the value of a growth mindset when going after what you want in life. Focus on the path you want to pursue, stay open to when it might need change and forge your own way through.
Where to Find Out More
At Explore Careers, we’re committed to bringing you the most up-to-date, relevant information for you and any career decision you could have to make.
Whether that’s bringing you the latest info via our blog, showcasing the youth-positive employers and their career pathways, or bringing the success stories from other young Australians making a pretty go of it – we’re here for YOU.