Jan Owen of the Foundation for Young Australians says employers have to look at capabilities and skills. Once they …
Jan Owen of the Foundation for Young Australians says employers have to look at capabilities and skills. Once they identify this it will drive better candidate selection and improve productivity as well as reduce staff turnover. supplied
by Lucille Keen
Young Australians should not at 17 be deciding to be a lawyer, accountant, or some other profession. Instead they should choose whether they are an “informer”, a “generator” or a “technologist”.
A report commissioned by the Foundation for Young Australians, a not-for-profit backed by the Australian government and a number of ASX 100 companies, found young Australians should give up on focusing on one single “dream job”.
Analysing 2.7 million job advertisements, the report found it was better to think of seven “job clusters” or groups in the Australian economy that required skills that were closely related and portable.
There seven job clusters in Australia’s workforce are the generators, the artisans, the carers, the coordinators, the designers and the informers.
The report said only 6 per cent of adults end up in the careers they wanted when they were younger.
“Instead of training for a particular occupation and working in that area for life, some studies have estimated that Australians will make 17 changes in employers across five different careers,” the report said.
The report found for someone who has already trained for or worked in one job, 44 different jobs only request one additional skill and that did not necessarily require going back to university to obtain.
After doing just one job young people will have the skills for up to 13 others.
Some job clusters have stronger future prospects than others, with those in the “artisans” and the “coordinators” group likely to experience lower growth and high exposure to automation.
Technologists were most likely to have the highest growth in career prospects, at 19 per cent in the last five years, followed by carers and informers.
Foundation for Young Australians chief executive Jan Owen said companies needed to shift their mindset because linear careers would be far less common and young people would need a portfolio of skills and capabilities, including career management skills to navigate the more complex world of work.
She said career advice was outdated and the report highlighted the need to focus on a candidate’s skills rather than linear career path.
“Having one dream job for life is no longer the case,” Ms Owen said.
“But it also doesn’t mean they necessarily have to go back to university and start again. There are many roles people can transfer into because they already have the portable skills. This is liberating for young people. Employers have to think beyond linear careers and look at capabilities and skills.”
Ms Owen said once employers identify this it would drive better candidate selection and improve productivity as well as reduce staff turnover.
She said if educators, policymakers and the government addressed the issue of skills rather than linear career paths it would reduce the number of under-employed Australians.
Randstad recruitment manager Sally Mortimer said many young job seekers had high expectations of what jobs they were able to “walk into”.
“But they need to realise they might start in one area of a business and then have five career changes within it,” Ms Mortimer said.