Youth without work: what are the options?

Tuesday 30 April, 2013
They're known as the 'NEETS' and the numbers are growing. 10 per cent of our 15 to 24 year olds are Not in Employment, Education or Training. Unable to find work, these youth face financial difficulties as well as an overall feeling of frustration. Some are early school leavers and, due to the recent removal of employer financial incentives to take on trainees, are unable to find an apprenticeship. Others are university graduates, have dedicated years to their studies and paid thousands for a paper certificate, only to be in the queue for the next offer in their respected industries (or a fast food chain just to pay the bills). Whilst I emphasize with these youth I don't think the situation is as drastic or as bleak as reports make out. To start with, let's put things in perspective, nationally speaking. In Spain, 57.2 per cent of people under 25 years old are without work. High figures are also recorded in the United States (16.2 per cent) and the UK (21.2 percent). Whilst we can not simply compare our statistics to another country, it's fair to say that youth unemployment remains an issue for many developed nations. We must also clarify what constitutes these figures. Are these youth actively looking for work? If the answer is no, then these youth should not be included in the figures although more often than not, they are. Even without including this percentage, the figure of unemployed youth remains so what are the options? For school leavers, it's a little harder. Traineeships are becoming more difficult to find but they have not been obliterated. Sometimes, a search which can seem like ageeessssss is, in hindsight, not too long. Casual and part-time positions are always available in many industries: retail, hospitality, administration and can help keep a person occupied and in a better situation economically until an opportunity arises. OneShift has over 2000 job vacancies just waiting to be filled '“ the majority of these are casual shifts. For graduates it's the advice that you really should have listened to when you first enrolled in your course. Experience is everything. Whilst it's important to understand the theories behind a certain role, it's essential to be able to put the theory to the test '“ or more bluntly, to know how to get things done. Many graduates are not involving themselves in real internships or work experience and lack the practical skills and experience that businesses require. Yes, these positions are often unpaid but most employers are flexible enough so that students can do as little as a once-a-week role and in the end, may even be offered a position with the business. Lastly, I think it's important that graduates reel in their expectations of what university, TAFE courses or private education institutions can really offer their students. They provide you with the knowledge. At the end of the day, it's up to you to apply this knowledge and to find work. 'P's (passes) may equal degrees but they don't guarantee a job. All in all, there are still options out there for these unemployed youth. It's very common for a school leaver or a graduate to narrow their options when it comes to finding employment. Sometimes they think they are deserving of a position outside of their skill set or experience. Sometimes, you need to work up the ladder so to speak. In the meantime, don't swivel around in your desk chair twiddling your thumbs, get onto OneShift, and get hired!
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