Approximately half of young Australians are concerned that education has not provided them with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace, new research has revealed.
A global study of 16- to 25-year-olds by Infosys showed that just 51 per cent of Australians were confident in their technological capabilities after completing school, for example. This compared with 78 per cent in the emerging economies of Brazil and India.
In fact, Australians were the most likely of all nationalities to agree with the statement that school had failed to prepare them for the realities of having careers. Forty-nine per cent said this was the case, compared with 30 per cent of South Africans, who were the most optimistic.
Overall, Australians were the least confident of the nine countries polled. One of the primary concerns among the nation’s youths was globalisation, with many people acknowledging the pressure of increased competition from international peers.
Skills training needed
Nearly four-fifths (77 per cent) of young people in Australia admitted they had to retrain to learn the skills necessary to perform their roles. This was a common trend among developed countries, with a similar proportion of respondents in the UK and the US saying the same.
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The Infosys research also revealed the skills that young people consider the most useful in today’s workplace. Australians believe good communication is a vital trait among jobseekers, while relationship building and problem-solving abilities also ranked well.
Australian employers confident
Despite fears over job prospects, a recent Hudson Australia survey that showed hiring intentions among employers has hit four-year highs may be encouraging for young people.
The company said 32 per cent of businesses intend to add to their staff levels in the first six months of this year, while 62 per cent of employees are contemplating switching jobs.
“While the economy is facing challenges, these results demonstrate a sense of optimism among organisations,” said Dean Davidson, Executive General Manager, Hudson Australia and New Zealand.
“Employers who have been taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to hiring are finally feeling confident enough to make a move.”
IT and retail are among the industries with the highest demand for new staff, with 46 and 36 per cent of businesses in these sectors, respectively, keen to increase their headcounts.