What Will It Take? – A research paper by SVA and AEN, with analysis by PwC, about some possible solutions that may help rebuild career paths for young people

A new collaborative report from PwC, Social Ventures Australia, the Global Apprenticeship Network (Australia) and the Apprentice Employment Network (Victoria) identifies measures that are required to build an apprenticeship system that works in the modern world and remedy Australia’s chronic skills shortages.

The What Will It Take report finds that young people in Australia have seen their average incomes decline in real terms from 2008 to 2018. Young people face an increasingly difficult labour market while at the same time, employers are reducing investment into training, signalling a loosening of bond between employer and employee, which can in turn impact young people’s ability to progress and compete in the market. It now takes an average of 4.7 years for a young person to move into full time employment from education. Despite ongoing skills shortages in areas that require vocational qualifications, many young Australians without degrees cannot find jobs that allow them to learn while they work. The slow climb up the ladder of employment and earnings is resulting in long-term societal and economic impacts for young people and the wider Australian community.

In response, the report finds that, while many employers identify cost as a significant barrier to investing in young people, wage subsidies on their own are not enough.

Instead, the report finds that a combination of measures is needed to generate change.

“We can build on the success that Governments’ have had in setting apprenticeship targets in large infrastructure projects. It’s time that the approach was applied to sectors like IT and business services – and that Governments applied the same sorts of targets for youth employment to their own recruitment.” Suzi Hewlett, Director of Skills for Australia at PwC said, “In compiling this report, we were focused on identifying actionable solutions. At PwC, we have seen the merits of establishing our own Higher Apprenticeship Program; the value in employers broadening their view about the talent pool they draw on to benefit their business is clear. However, we know that other employers lack capacity to create similar alternative pathways and find themselves having to navigate a complex, and often costly, system. That is why our research suggests that a combination of measures is needed to generate change.”

See this report to find out more.