Creating alternative pathways for future careers in Australia

Creating alternative pathways for future careers in Australia

In Australia, we are facing the biggest disruption to the world of work. Our economy is rapidly becoming more globalised, automated, and flexible, and this is having a significant impact on the workforce.

Entry level and early career jobs are becoming less common as they are increasingly replaced by automated programs, software, and digital platforms. Simultaneously, there is a rising demand from employers for transferable enterprise skills in workers, reflecting the ways that work is changing.

Analysing 4.2 million job advertisements over a 3 year period, FYA’s New Work Order report series reveals that technical skills are no longer the only requirement for getting a job.

The demand for enterprise skills such as creativity, communication, digital literacy, problem solving and critical thinking, is higher than ever, and employers are willing to pay more for them. In addition, jobs in the future will require 30% more time learning on the job, as opposed to jobs of the past with a decrease in management by 26% expected in 2030.

With industry demands for enterprise skills in young workers, a new approach to preparing them with these skills is emerging.

Part academic, part vocational training, all on the job; a Higher Apprenticeship is an arrangement that enables individuals to undertake a recognised national vocational qualification at Diploma, Advanced Diploma-level or Associate Degree, while fully employed and earning a wage.

They enable learning to be contextualised and occur on the job, so that skill sets are tailored to meet the needs of industry. Higher Apprenticeships are an important tool in reskilling people to adjust to disruptive industry changes, because they align with industry demand with delivery and formal training targeted towards industry needs.

This is particularly important given the disruptive capacity of automation has meant that people undertaking formal study, without an apprenticeship element, can struggle to find employment upon graduation – it takes a young person 4.7 years on average to secure full time employment after studying – and, in some instances, they are training for roles that may not exist upon graduation. In addition, young people today are more likely to have 17 jobs over 5 different careers in their lifetime.

Higher Apprenticeships in the UK:

In the UK, though the pathway was only created in 2012, the impact has been significant: employers rated qualified Higher Apprentices as 25% more employable than those who took an alternative route into work.

Research found that Higher Apprentices could see increased earning of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime. 87% of employers said they were satisfied with the programme, 76% say that productivity has improved and 75% reported that apprenticeships improved the quality of their product or service.

Moving forward with Higher Apprenticeships in Australia

The Australian Government is investing $1.5 billion in revitalising traineeships and apprenticeships, and as part of this commitment is introducing Higher Apprenticeships in Australia for the first time.

FYA is developing the very first pathway program into this exciting new opportunity for school-leavers. The Higher Pathways program will inform young people about the Higher Apprenticeships and support them as they find the direction most suitable to their needs. FYA will draw on its research and program design experience to create a program that enables young people to develop enterprise skills that will support their access to Higher Apprenticeships and their further career progression.

This is a critical step forward in developing a new work mindset and a new understanding of the skills, capabilities, and pathways for a viable working life – all essential ingredients in preparing young people for the future of work.

FYA believes that Australia needs to do more to create pathways that can improve the employment outcomes for underserved young Australians and Higher Apprenticeships are an innovative example of such a pathway.

More information about FYA’s Higher Pathways program is available on the program page.