We are all worried about young people’s futures as the news outlines the devastating impacts COVID-19 is having on the industries, where they find their early work experiences: school placements, part time work, and entry level jobs.
And yet, when we sent four interns out to interview employers in growing industries in our region, everyone—both employers and interns—came out hopeful.
There is no doubt that the job market is tough for young people, but our employers told us there are long-term opportunities for young people in regional areas and that many of our growing industries are experiencing skill shortages, have entry level jobs, and are willing to train new recruits.
Our interns were surprised that there are more opportunities than they thought, and that they have more to offer an employer than they expected, even when they haven’t had their first job. To get young people to jobs in our region, they need more contact with employers earlier in school, and more opportunities to get vital work experience (and that might not be what you think!). This report outlines our intern’s road map for how to do that.
Our four interns aged 17 to 25:
- interviewed 16 employers in our growing industries
- surveyed 69 young people about their interests.
This report outlines what they found in three sections:
- 4 good news stories we all need to hear
- 4 things young people can do
- 4 things we should do next to help (recommendations to schools, government and other policy makers).
The good news
There is entry-level work in our region despite COVID-19 many businesses are expanding. All our employers want to hire young people to ensure the future of their businesses. Employers said they are less worried about skills, and are more interested in a young person’s attitude and fit with their team.
What young people can do
Employers want you to create personal resumes/CV’s get rid of the standard template. Get a good quality work experience, its vital. Employers told our interns, no one knows what they are doing at first, but they work it out by talking to people. Our young interns felt reassured having spoken to these employers.
We made 4 recommendations for what we should do next:
1. Fund rural careers education so young people can meet employers early in school
2. Support vocational pathways and ensure every young person leaves school ‘work ready’
3. Develop alternative forms of work experience
4. Fund a ‘youth tab’ on the GROW Greater Shepparton jobs portal