Youth Census shows students need guidance and information to make career decisions

Giving students all the guidance and information they need will help ease some of the stress of preparing for post-school life, one career expert has said.

Andrew Crowley, the director of VET delivery for TAFE NSW said the Skillsroad 2017 Youth Census, commissioned by Apprenticeship Support Australia, gave valuable insight into what young people are going through.

More than 13,000 people aged between 15 and 24 were surveyed on their intentions for post-school study or work, their biggest motivators and concerns about moving into the workplace.

It found that securing a job and earning money were the two major issues for young people, and their priorities had switched from lifestyle to money.

More than half of school leavers were intending to go to university, despite concerns about how they would play their student fees, and others were concerned about the availability of jobs.

“It’s important all the options are put in front of young people so they can make a choice that will suit them,” Mr Crowley said.

Mr Crowley said he was concerned that young people were more likely to make career decisions based on money rather than lifestyle or happiness.

He said enjoying a career is important to being successful and maintaining motivation. 

“More and more focus is being placed on wellbeing and and enjoying what you do is a part of that. A lot of jobs are demanding but it is easier to deal with that if you like what you do,” he said.

“It’s a common statistic that the average person will have four or five career changes during their life but that is still 10 years per career, or 3500 days so it’s a long time to do something if you don’t like it.”

Looking at vocational education training at with a provider such as TAFE was an opportunity to undertake training and get job experience in a short time to see if a career is suitable, Mr Crowley said.

He said TAFE aimed to train people locally in the hope more would choose to stay in regional areas.

“We know that people who leave for further education often don’t come back so what we want to see is people getting the training where they live, so that some of them will stay,” he said.