Gen Z not ready for the post-COVID world of work

- October 13, 2020 2 MIN READ

New research from human skills development organisation Maxme reveals Australian businesses are worried new graduates aren’t equipped to handle the new world of work.

The study found 85 per cent of business leaders believe current grads lack both the technical and soft skills needed to succeed.

Hello quarter-life crisis

Renata Sguario, founder of Maxme says Gen Z is  the first generation in history to be highly educated but lacking vital soft skills needed for success in the workforce. As such this cohort is finding the adjustment to the world of work particularly challenging.  Where previous generations have stuck at their careers for years, if not a lifetime, it’s a different world for Gen Z.

“Gen Z is the first cohort in history to record a quarter-life crisis, with a whopping 65 per cent of university graduates doubting what they want to do and shifting into other careers within five to seven years of entering the workforce,” explains Sguario.

Human skills needed

Of those surveyed, nine in ten (98 per cent) respondents consider human skills such as empathy, listening, self-awareness, collaboration, communicating with impact, and creative problem solving vital in the workplace.

“Businesses are telling us that current graduates lack the human skills needed in the workforce and young Australians agree. 49 per cent of graduates who have been working for two to four years are reporting investing in upskilling and trying to backfill skills they feel they lack.

“There is a significant disconnect with Australia’s education providers in this equation. Businesses are spending money to recruit graduates, but they’re arriving without the soft skills they want and then businesses are having to invest millions in having to upskill and train on the job,” Sguario said.

The report found that only 35 per cent of university graduates that have been in the workforce for five to seven years are doing what they intended when they graduated and 41 per cent had already made the shift into a completely different industry. Satisfaction levels are low with just 19 per cent of graduates employed for five to seven years being very satisfied in their current role. Only 51 per cent are somewhat satisfied in their long-term career prospects.

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