Future less clear for today’s young people

Media release

15 August 2019

Fewer young people are working in their career job at age 24 than ten years ago, with significantly higher rates of young people uncertain whether the job they have is the one they would like as a career, according to a new analysis released today by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Life at 24: Then & Now uses data from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) to provide a snapshot of how study, training and work have changed for Australians aged 24 in 2018 when compared with those of the same age in 2008.

Simon Walker, Managing Director, NCVER, said these figures are likely due to several factors: “Young people are taking significantly longer to complete their studies and transition into ‘career jobs’ than they were ten years ago,” he said.

“The proportion of young people in full-time work has decreased over the last decade, while an increasing number are working more than one job to reach full-time working hours,” Mr Walker said.

“A lack of job opportunities and not enough work experience are the main barriers to gaining full-time employment identified by young people in 2018.”

The proportion of 24-year-olds unable to meet their basic needs due to a shortage of money has increased significantly over the past ten years.

“Our data also shows that more than one in ten 24-year-olds aren’t able to get the medical treatment they require, a figure that has almost doubled in the past decade,” Mr Walker said.

These pressures haven’t stopped today’s young people from being socially conscious, with significantly more 24-year-olds taking part in volunteering activities in 2018 compared with ten years ago.

Today’s young people are also more qualified, with higher proportions obtaining a bachelor degree or postgraduate qualification than ever before. This trend has accelerated with the introduction of the demand-driven higher education system, which led to an increase in higher education enrolments between 2010 and 2017.

For more information on what has changed for 24-year-old Australians over the past 10 years, view the infographic: Life at 24: Then & Now.

The LSAY survey program tracks 15-year-olds over a ten-year period as they move from school into further study and training, work, and into adulthood. It provides valuable insight into key perspectives and changes for young Australians.

The latest data from the group of participants who commenced the LSAY program in 2009, known as the ‘Y09 cohort’, has also been released today via the Australian Data Archive. Information about how to access this data is available on the LSAY website.

A range of tools and resources to assist in understanding and using LSAY data are also available.

Media enquiries: Helen Wildash M: 0448 043 148 E: helenwildash@ncver.edu.au

About NCVER: we are the principal provider of research, statistics and data on Australia’s VET sector. Our services help promote better understanding of VET and assist policy-makers, practitioners, industry, training providers, and students to make informed decisions.

LSAY is managed by NCVER and conducted by Wallis Market & Social Research on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Education.