Skillsroad 2017 Youth Census finds people fear not getting a job or owning a house

Don't dream it's over: Young people fear the great Australian dream of owning a house is slipping away. Photo: FILE
Don't dream it's over: Young people fear the great Australian dream of owning a house is slipping away. Photo: FILE

Young people in regional NSW are concerned about their futures, and worry they won’t be able to find a job or afford a house, new research has found.

The Skillsroad 2017 Youth Census was commissioned by Apprenticeship Support Australia and surveyed more than 13,000 people between the ages of 15 and 24.

It found that half of high school students were planning to go to university but were concerned about fees, while most were also concerned about money and balancing their work and personal lives.

Apprenticeship Support Australia regional manager for Western NSW Peter Rickard said the census confirmed young people were prioritising money when they were choosing their careers.

“There has been a shift in focus. Previously a lot were more concerned about lifestyle but not they are choosing money and that is because they are concerned about finances,” he said.

“They are looking at affordability of houses and they know not every Australian will be able to buy their own house.”

Asked about their concerns with being a young person in Australia, almost 32 per cent said they were concerned about housing affordability, 18 per cent were worried there weren’t enough jobs and 12 per cent were concerned about discrimination.

When it came to personal worries, 28 per cent identified stress, 24 per cent said school and study problems and body issues were a concern for 18 per cent. 

For those in the study who were still at school, more than half (52 per cent) said they were going to go to uni, but almost a third of those said they were concerned about the financial consequences of a degree while a lack of jobs concerned almost a quarter.

More than 18 per cent intended to take a gap year, 9 per cent planned to get an apprenticeship or traineeship and just 6 per cent intended to undertake vocational education.

When it came to opinions on apprenticeships and traineeships, 38 per cent said the biggest concern was locating one, with one in five also concerned about balancing work and study.

Mr Rickard said with rising youth unemployment and a growing skills shortage in Australia, the challenge was now for government and industry to find a way to solve both.

He said traineeships and apprenticeships were still a valuable option for students.