Young people share their experiences finding full-time work

Young people share their experiences finding full-time work

On January 30, the Foundation for Young Australians launched the Future Skills Framework 2030 campaign, a call to Government to ensure young people are adequately prepared and supported for the future of work.

The campaign was based on new analysis by AlphaBeta for FYA that revealed governments across Australia are investing $91 billion in education and training annually, yet almost 1 in 3 young Australians is unemployed or underemployed. The analysis also found that it takes an average of 2.6 years for young people to transition from full-time study to full-time work, and at least 30% of young people will need significant re-skilling in coming years to remain relevant.

We asked six young people about their experiences finding full-time work after study, and what they thought about these alarming statistics. How could young people be better equipped for joining the workforce? Here’s what they said.


Russell, age 29

“I didn’t feel prepared to get into work. I didn’t use a great deal of what I learnt at uni and everything was very theoretical, bar a few practical parts – like problem solving and learning how to studying – that were useful. I didn’t come out of uni ready for the workforce; this is something I had to learn in my first few full-time jobs. If uni could give students more guidance as to how we can find opportunities or work experience as a regional student, that would help.”

Naomi, age 22

“Education providers need to adapt to needs of individuals and communities. More diversity is needed in teaching staff and ways of teaching. The philosophy for everything should be people-based. We’re not just stats or numbers. The transition from school to TAFE and other institutions is hard. If you don’t have supports, people will fall off.”

Maria, age 26

“There are no single solution to finding jobs. Changes in education should be evidence-based; education is currently based on outdated ideas. There is a need for collaborative learning and support for people facing adversity while studying and job hunting.”

Monica, age 25

“As a university graduate, I didn’t know what to expect when entering the workforce. Despite studying for five years, I knew very little about full-time work. If we want more young people to be ready for the workforce, we need to take them step-by-step through getting a career after their degree.”

Luke, 29

“At uni there was no service that helped me answer, “What do I do now?”

Stefan, 27

“I didn’t know what my options were post university. But the impending challenges of life after university were talked about a lot. University needs to be more practical, and specifically practical in the field you’re studying. A clear program pre-uni, pre-TAFE, pre-everything! You need to be exposed to what is out there when you’re in school. Showing people the options early, and that university isn’t the only option.”


Join us in demanding better for Australia and young people in 2019. Read about FYA’s Future Skills Framework for 2030.