ABS unemployment has dropped to 5.5%. It’s a great story, but underemployment has a huge foothold, with a shift towards part-time work.

We decided to explore this through the eyes of 200 employees and job-seekers in our region. We found that 33% of the employees we surveyed are not working enough hours to support their lifestyle.

The great news is Queensland Government has tackled this head-on, with their new Back to Work South East Queensland program to support employers who engage young job seekers.  The Youth Boost Payment enables companies to engage a trainee (15-24 years and unemployed for 4 weeks or more) AND claim $20,000 over a 12 month traineeship (pending eligibility).

The Top Office Group can partner with you, to recruit and train your trainee (more on that soon). First, we wanted to share our passion for this opportunity, and why this is so important.

The elephant in the room is underemployment, and how this relates to young people. There’s a perfect storm out there, making it harder for them to secure their first start, despite bringing so much diversity of thinking, new ideas and creativity to the table.

The quality of jobs is more precarious. In an emerging gig economy, on-line agencies connect suppliers with bidders, who go from one gig to the next. This is a global trend, with no guarantees. The trade-off for workers is freedom and flexibility, but is this enough to sustain a healthy income?

There is no doubt companies are pushed on margins and lean on technology to stay profitable in our instant world.  This makes less labour intensive strategies more appealing and sustainable (such as outsourcing jobs and Uber-style technology, where customers select what they need via an app).

Artificial Intelligence has broken free of factories, to solve complex problems that target highly qualified people. These are knowledge-based roles, which impact young graduates most of all.

This is reflected in our feedback from Executive Outlook 2017. “There’s ‘nothing left for graduates to do’ in many professions, as technology takes over”.

The Future of work report (World Employment Confederation) tells the same story all around the globe.

  • Many younger workers lack in-demand skills.
  • A significant share of future jobs will not be for highly educated workers.
  • Mass-education policies might not fit emerging jobs.
  • The education sector must build closer bridges with the business world.

The way we work has been redefined too. We can work remotely from home, the beach, airports (or anywhere in between). All you need is a tablet (and wireless connection) to share data across a secure network – that’s it.  It’s a culture where you are measured on outcomes (rather than hours).

I can’t see us returning to a traditional 9-5 world anytime soon. Jobs won’t disappear, but they will morph into new ones.  As more jobs are automated, employers will need a workforce that can flex and bend.

That’s not to downplay the opportunities. Automation will open up amazing possibilities, in jobs that haven’t been invented yet.  It involves stepping outside our comfort zone to succeed, armed with spades of curiosity, resilience and a commitment to life-long learning.

This year, Executive Outlook explores the impact of Artificial Intelligence on our businesses, and where people fit in. So far, our clients are saying “Technology enables us to be smarter. It helps us innovate and enrich people’s roles, with less capital and a safer workplace”.

Ultimately, technology does make jobs more interpersonal and empowering.  People still want to deal with people, so customer focussed roles that merge brilliant technology skills with high levels of influence and social interaction, are safer.  The attributes our clients value most are great communicators, who are fully engaged, along with empathy, enthusiasm and attention to detail.

These combined influences are why the new Back to Work South East Queensland program is so important for young job seekers, and such a brilliant opportunity to boost your workforce.

The Top Office Group can recruit and train your trainee, with no out of pocket expenses. This includes our full placement service AND delivery of a Certificate III in Business Administration qualification for your trainee.

We would love to talk with you more about this outstanding opportunity.  Simply call Karen on 3812 2920, and add substantial value to your workforce.