Challenges Grow in School to Work Transition – NFP Report
10 November 2015 at 11:23 am
Young Australians are finding it harder to make the transition from school into full time work, according to new data released by the Foundation for Young Australians.
The FYA’s Annual Report Card, How are young people faring in the transition from school to work, examines the challenges young people are facing in getting a start in the workforce and how prepared they are for the rapidly changing world of work.
The report cards shows that while young people are staying in education longer, they are still not getting the enterprising skills they need to get a job.
It found that it takes an average of 4.7 years once students finish full-time education to find full-time work.
The FYA’s CEO, Jan Owen AM said this latest round of data shows the urgent need for Australia to invest in a national enterprise learning strategy, to ensure our young people can thrive in the future economy.
“This report card clearly shows we aren’t adequately preparing our young people for the jobs of today, let alone the jobs of tomorrow,” Owen said.
“In 2008, 84 per cent of university graduates were in full time work four months after leaving university. Today that figure has dropped to 65 per cent. This is a terrible waste of the potential our young people have to drive our economy forward and create a better future for our nation.
“This report card also shows that there is a growing gap between the skills young people have and what they will need to secure and navigate the jobs of the future.
“While 75 per cent of the jobs of the future will involve science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), 35 per cent of 15 year olds are not proficient in science, 42 per cent are not proficient in maths, and 35 per cent are not proficient in technology.”
Owen said proficiency in subjects across the broader curriculum is getting worse and Australia is falling in international ratings.
“The story is no better when it comes to digital literacy. Around 90 per cent of jobs of the future will require digital literacy, yet 35 per cent of 15 year-olds are not digitally literate,” she said.
“Our recent New Work Order report showed young people will need to manage a ‘portfolio’ of different jobs and income sources, yet right now 30 per cent of 15 year olds are not financially literate and 35 per cent are not good at problem solving.
“Unless we act now to prepare our young people for the world of work and build their skills for the future economy, our whole nation will be left behind.”
Owen said the report also highlights a huge waste of potential with an increasing number of young people unemployed and underemployed.
“30 per cent of young people aged 15-24 are unemployed or underemployed and this has increased,” she said.
“With an ageing population we desperately need our young people to be innovative and enterprising in order to drive our economy forward.
“Today’s report card shows that our young people are falling behind on the skills that will matter for jobs of the future. We must act now to change this and equip young people with a different set of skills so they can thrive in this new work order.”
Owen said Australia needs a national enterprise education strategy that will ensure Australia’s young people are digitally literate, financially savvy, innovative and adaptable and able to navigate the increasingly complex careers of the future.
To coincide with the release of the report card, the FYA has published a paper exploring how enterprise learning could be embedded into Australia’s education system and providing key evidence from around the globe demonstrating why this must be a national priority.