Large study revealed: Young job-seekers lack skills employers are looking for

According to an analysis commissioned by the Foundation of Young Australians(FYA) looked from the data of 4.2 millions jobs advertisements from years 2012-15, the demand for enterprise skills such as digital literacy and presentation abilities are most in demand in junior positions as the technical skills relevant to specific jobs.

Over the three-year period, the job ads showed demand for critical thinking skills increased by more than 150 per cent, creativity went up 65 per cent and presentation skills went up 25 per cent while there was a massive increase of 212 per cent in demand for digital literacy skills. The research highlighted the importance of developing enterprise skills as the employers were looking for those skills, stated The Foundation for Young Australians.

CEO Jane Owen said “ employers value skills such as digital and digital literacy, regardless of the job profile they are hiring.” For the first time we-ve got data that shows what employers are looking for from the upcoming generation of young people, she added. She also said that across almost every profession, no matter what it was and no matter what the technical skill was, employers were privileging this very broad skill set that we call enterprise skills. “We used to call them soft skills but now they clearly are core to the marketplace in Australia and we suspect globally around what employers need.”

According to the programme for International Student Assessment, one third of students under the age of 15 showed poor levels of financial literacy and problem solving skills while a quarter were not proficient in digital skills. “We fully expected that we were in transition and there’s much conversation about the future of work around the world.” Therefore there is a need to invest in these skills, she added.

This report clearly tells us about the current position and more importantly gives a clear mandate to accelerate the teaching of these skills and to understand that they’re being privileged in the workplace. School students should be taught how to be enterprising and should be provided skill training.

The Foundation for Young Australians called on state and federal governments to accelerate training in enterprise skills. “We almost need to understand that these skills need to be in the DNA of every single student,” Ms Owen said.

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