Let’s Talk: What’s happened to the work ethic of Australians?

Remember when you were younger and couldn’t wait to get into the workforce? You wanted to find your own way
Let's Talk

Remember when you were younger and couldn’t wait to get into the workforce? You wanted to find your own way (some by necessity) and make a contribution to your family and some felt that their simple contribution to the workforce was a contribution to the economy of the country.

How times have changed!

A report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) titled Investing in Youth – Australia has revealed that increasing number of young Australians are refusing to get a job and are choosing to spend their time “chilling” while getting government support.

The report has highlighted that as of 2015, one in five Australians aged between 16 and 24 years were not in employment, education and training (NEET) for at least 12 months. While around 580,000 (or one in eight) 15 to 29 year olds were not ‘doing anything’ for that period.

Perhaps what’s worse is that nearly two-thirds of these young people couldn’t even be bothered seeking work.

“I would tell you that it’s hard to get a job but to be honest I don’t even try. Centrelink pays my rent and that’s all I need,” one 21-year-old told The Daily Telegraph.

Business surveys suggest young people are not adequately prepared for working life and lack foundational skills in literacy and numeracy, as well as skills such as communication and problem-solving.

By contrast, older workers remain an important part of the Australian workforce. The Intergenerational Report in 2010 highlighted the contribution older workers continue to make in the labour force, with more than 5.5 million Australians aged 55 years and over making up one-third (or 16 per cent) of the labour force, which is an increase on the contributions of your parents and grandparents.

Do you think the youth of today has a problem with its work ethic? What do you think the issues are? Are you still engaged in employment (full-time or part-time)?

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