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The Streets: are you worried about being unemployed after uni? | Hijack

The Streets: are you worried about being unemployed after uni? | Hijack

By Sophie Henry 

The last month has seen a series of news headlines about skyrocketing levels of youth unemployment. New figures released by the local charity, Brotherhood of St Laurence, indicate that youth unemployment has tripled in the last six years, and 250,000 young Aussies are reportedly currently out of work.

Some researchers say we shouldn’t be too alarmed and need to look at these figures in a broader context, but others aren’t so sure if this is just a dole bludging storm in a teacup. As part of our ongoing series, Hijack The Streets, we asked tertiary students in Sydney if they’re worried about getting a job out of university.

Lily Xu, 20, Fashion Design and International Studies, The University of Technology, Sydney

HJCKD: Are you worried about being unemployed once you finish uni?

Definitely. I think every industry is really hard, but I think with fashion [even] if you have a degree, you might not even get a job. Even if you have experience, you’re still not guaranteed anything. It’s a bit hit and miss, so that’s why I’m worried.

Do you think university is worth it if you’re still not guaranteed a job at the end?

I have wondered: ‘what am I doing spending six years of my life, if it’s not a guarantee, am I wasting my time?’ I don’t know how universities could possibly change.

Have you ever found it difficult to find a job as a student?

Student wise, I think there are lots of jobs out there, but you have to want to do them – like retail or hospitality. In terms of industry related jobs, so far getting internships has been okay. It’s good experience, but I don’t know how far that will take me.

Alec Elbert, 31, Business and International Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney

HJCKD: Are you worried about being unemployed once you finish uni?

Not particularly concerned. It doesn’t worry me too much.

And why is that?

I’ve been in work previously, so I’ve got some experience in work. It’s more a matter of finding the right job that I’m really interested in when I finish.

Why do you think there are such big issues with young people finding jobs these days?

There’s perhaps a couple of reasons, but I think it might come down to the individual. I’m not sure that it’s necessarily worse today that it has been in the past. I know that there has been a recent increase in the news with youth unemployment, but I think that it probably comes down to experience.

Kaleb Carrasco, 23, Postgraduate study in Writing, University of Technology, Sydney

HJCKD: Are you worried about being unemployed once you finish uni?

Yes, in writing. If I was going to do writing as a career, it would be in script writing, but I know that screen writing in Australia is pretty hard to get into. It’s a bit of a worry.

Do you think that the government could do more to help young Australians find a career after their degree?

Oh yeah, definitely. I’m currently doing a post graduate [degree], so I’ve already got a degree in graphic design and communications, but it’s pretty hard to get into that sort of job. That’s actually why I’m doing something else.

What more do you think the government could do to help out?

A lot of the jobs nowadays – especially in communications and writing – it’s harder to get a good job unless you do unpaid work experience. Except the government doesn’t recognise unpaid work experience or internships as a job, because you’re not getting paid, and so I can’t go on the Newstart allowance [to support myself] because I have to be looking for paid work in something I don’t want to work towards. There definitely needs to be some sort of new system to support students while they gain unpaid work experience in their desired industry.

Catherine McMaster, 22, Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at The University of Sydney

HJCKD: Are you worried about being unemployed once you finish uni?

Yes, I’m very worried about getting a job when I graduate. I am worried about getting a job when I graduate, just because I haven’t found that thing that I am so passionate about. That is what kind of scares me at the moment – the fact that I am a bit lost. Ultimately, I do want to be a freelance writer, but there is not really much stability in that area, especially when you first start out.

Are you worried about the amount of job opportunities available to you?

Definitely. The job market is really competitive in Sydney, and there are so many amazingly intelligent people, and they all want jobs. Half of the time, they want the job that you want, so I am worried that there won’t be a job for me. At the moment, I am more worried about what type of job I want to do, rather than will I actually get one.

Do you think the government could do more to help young people get jobs, or make more opportunities available?

I think they probably could actually. I haven’t really thought about it like that. They push people to go to university and help people with scholarships and things like that, but once you finish university, it’s like ‘okay, now you’re own your own, go find a job’.

Elise Santos, 20, Bachelor of Nursing, The University of Technoloy, Sydney

HJCKD: Are you worried about being unemployed once you finish uni?

A little bit. There are a lot of people in my cohort, and I’ve been told that not everyone will get a graduate position when they finish. This is when you go to a hospital and work there for a year and basically it transitions you from being a student into a professional practice. The thought of not getting into that is terrifying.

Do you think more could be done to help you with landing a job at the end of your degree?

Probably. I guess just having fewer students in the degree, but I guess it is better that people have the opportunity to study. It’s just there are not enough jobs.

Do you think the government could do anything more to help?

Definitely. I’m guessing there are budget cuts to hospitals, and that’s why there aren’t as many nursing jobs. Obviously we need more funding.

Anna Wilkinson, 22, Bachelor of Primary Education (Teaching), The University of Sydney

Are you worried about being unemployed once you finish Uni?

A little bit. I hear usually you can do casual for a while, and then hopefully get a job through that and through connections.

What are your main strategies for getting a job, to make yourself stand out?

Just apply everywhere, but this year I have really done a little bit of resume building, by putting things that will make me look a little bit better.

Have you ever struggled as a student finding a job?

I’ve mainly just gotten them through people I know. I’ve had a bunch of jobs, but I’ve never have to sit down and do a formal interview or anything.

Scott Basquil, 20, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, The University of Technoloy, Sydney

HJCKD: Are you worried about being unemployed once you finish uni?

A little bit. As part of our degree at UTS, we get two internships, and the employment rate is really high. It’s about 80 to 88 per cent after uni, so I’m not too fazed. It’s something I’ve got to think about in a couple years. I’ve still got four years left.

Why do you think there are such high unemployment rates amongst young Australians?

Maybe they’re not looking in the right areas, not contacting the right employers, or not pursuing [employment] through the right paths. Maybe [they’re] just scatter shooting resumes, or not using their networks. Also, maybe with international people, they don’t seem to have as many people skills, so that could be a big factor in the levels of unemployment.

Tilly Jones, 21, Bachelor of Primary Education (Teaching), The University of Sydney

HJCKD: Are you worried about being unemployed once you finish uni?

Actually, very worried. I think that there’s just less jobs available right now, and they require a lot more of you. I think that sometimes uni doesn’t really give you the information you need to get a job.

Why do you think there is such a high rate of youth unemployment in Australia?

Partly, it’s because so many people now have university degrees, that just having a degree doesn’t mean anything.

What could be done to help this?

Maybe universities should have some more courses, which are actually involved in getting students a job and preparing students for looking for jobs, rather than just the skills needed when you have one.

This article was featured in Hijack was written by Catherine’s friend, Sophie Henry. To read it in full, click here

Catherine McMaster
Editor | Producer | Writer | Project Manager Editor - Sunseeker Magazine Editor - Gaggenau Magazine Contributing Editor - THE SUN | NEWS UK

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