According to the latest data from the Business Council of Australia “in June 2016 there were 282,900 apprentices and trainees in training, down 45% on the 515,000 in June 2012.” A common misconception used to explain these plummeting training rates are that young people are too lazy to undertake the physically demanding work that often comes with being a tradesperson.
If the stereotypes hold true we’re looking at a generation of apprentices who show up late, spend the day on their phone and run off the job site as soon as it’s time to knock off.
While young people are more digitally switched on than the generations before them (stats show that Millennials look at their phone more than 100 times a day versus less than one tenth of Baby Boomers), research reveals that younger generations are more likely to hold themselves to extremely high standards and the differences between generations such as Gen Z and Baby Boomers are minimal compared to what the lazy stereotype would have you believe.
From this it’s clear that the issue isn’t that young people are too lazy to become tradies. The real issue is how employers can attract and hire high quality candidates from the current generation.
- Utilise technology
With young people growing up with digital tools and platforms, it’s no surprise that they’re using them to look for work. Research reveals that 67% of unemployed and 61% of employed internet users between the ages of 16 and 24 had visited a job or recruitment website in the past month. In order to attract quality candidates, we need to go where future employees are and this includes digital platforms.
Moreover, it’s important to incorporate technology into the everyday work environment. 53% of Millennials say they are more likely to take a job with an employer who uses the same technology as they do. One of the major benefits of hiring a young employee is being able to draw on their skills and knowledge of technology so it’s important to remain open to the use of new technologies and platforms within the workplace.
- Offer opportunities for advancement
According to a 2016 Deloitte survey, two-thirds of millennials expect to have left their current employers by 2020. Of the workers who want to leave their jobs within the next two years, more than 70% cite a lack of leadership development. Other studies suggest that the number one thing that keeps Millennials engaged at work is “career progression.”
From the outset, young employees need to know that there is opportunity for growth within your business and there needs to be clear policies in place that facilitate career progression for employees.
- Company values
For six in ten Millennials, “a sense of purpose” was part of their calculation in accepting their current jobs. For young people, working within companies that align with their values is hugely important and many look to their work for meaning in life.
- Social workplace
Over half of Millennials reported that poor company culture was a source of disappointment in a new job. While young people place importance on career growth, they also want to work within a company with a positive culture and integration into the team is highly important.