New research from Think Education shows that being 'work-ready' is what young Australians want from their education, yet close to 40 per cent feel their education hasn't given them the skills required for their current job.
"We need to rethink education," says Linda Brown, CEO of Think Education.
The Think Education Study, a survey of 1000 young Australian workers aged 18-35 also shows that just three in five (61 per cent) feel empowered by their education, and even less (55 per cent) feel inspired by their education.
"Australia is grappling with an experience shortage," Brown says.
"Youth unemployment is climbing, reaching as high as 20 per cent in some areas. In addition, recent data from the Department of Education shows that up to 30 per cent of university students are out of work after finishing their degree."
Meanwhile, a report by The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency shows that industry perceptions are that graduates are 'not job ready', and that 'industry experience' is one of the most highly sought after qualities.
"I believe the disconnect between record graduate numbers and high youth unemployment can be bridged by connections and experience," she says.
The Think Education Study also highlights that young Australians are entrepreneurial with 65 per cent having aspirations to run their own business. However, it also shows that 60 per cent aren't following their passions.
"Young people should feel empowered and inspired by their education. It should help them make connections, gain experience and follow their passion.
"That's why we need to be bringing the ‘real-world’ into our learning spaces."
"We do that at Think Education. Over 70 per cent of our teaching staff works in industry and we have close industry partnerships that we integrate into our courses. We also support those looking to start their own business and ensure our use of technology and learning spaces is similar to what students will experience at work."
"I believe in education for a purpose, and that is to help give people the skills, and experience, needed to succeed in a competitive, global marketplace," Linda Brown says.
Findings of The Think Education Study:
Survey of 1000 young Australian workers aged 18-35.
Just three in five young Australian workers (61 per cent) feel empowered by their education. Even less (56 per cent) feel inspired by their education.
Close to 40 per cent (38%) say their education hasn't given them the skills required for their current job.
The top three things young Australians want from their education are:
- Knowledge and skills that lead to a job (37 per cent)
- A broad and varied knowledge (26 per cent)
- A recognised qualification (19 per cent)
Young Australians are entrepreneurial with 65 per cent having aspirations to run their own business. However the main hurdles are:
- The financial implications (58 per cent)
- Lack of relevant skills and/or the need for additional education (16 per cent)
- Not enough support available (family, mentoring support etc) (15 per cent)
- Not enough time to commit (11 per cent)
60 per cent of young Australians aren't following their passion. Only two in five (42 per cent) chose their area of study/employment to follow their passion, more making the decision based on the opportunity to earn a good salary or because of pressure or expectations from parents/friends/society (45 per cent).
Women are more likely to follow their passion (44 per cent), while for men the highest determinant (40 per cent) is a good salary.
Young men are more likely to want to start their own business than young women (70 per cent vs 62 per cent).