By 2025, 31% of our workforce will be from Generation Z. Categorised as those born between 1995 and 2009, this generation has had digital technologies at its fingertips for its entire schooling and is unlikely to remember life before Google.
With skills shortages upon us or looming in most of our traditional trades, enticing this generation into apprenticeships must be a priority, and evolving to changing needs is key.
Our emerging generations are multi-modal learners, meaning they don’t want to sit in a classroom passively listening – they want to be out there ‘doing’. In this sense, apprenticeships have a clear advantage.
Many university degrees rely heavily on academic learning with practical application only beginning in the later stages. Apprenticeships, on the other hand, offer on-the-job learning and earning from the outset.
Apprentices complete their studies with not only the required industry skills and training, but also a wide-range of soft skills learnt through experience in the workplace, such as critical thinking, problem solving and communication.
Generation Z have a lot to offer employers too. They are tech-savvy and entrepreneurial in nature and will be engaged by projects and tasks that deliver value for your business. The downside to this is that they may have less patience for the repetitive tasks common in the early stages of an apprenticeship, so engaging them on a different level is key. They’ll also challenge the status quo and ask why things are being done in a certain way and businesses can benefit from this innovative approach. The apprentice can become more than someone who is learning on the job, they can add immediate value to the employer.
For employers, having the right partner to help navigate this process is crucial. Help is available in adjusting to the new generation of apprentices; the right support can ensure that your apprentice is able to hit the ground running. In return businesses can leverage Generation Z’s wealth of knowledge about technology, social media and other digital platforms and their collaborative and innovative approach. They can also play a big role in helping a business to understand and connect with their younger consumers. With this generation being the largest ever, accounting for 20% of the Australian population, if they aren’t your customers today, they will be soon.
Savvy businesses who can embrace a new generation and see the potential will benefit, and potentially help stave off industry skill shortages in the process.
VERTO's Apprenticeship Network Provider team works closely with businesses across our extensive network to provide information, guidance and support for employers, apprentices and trainees alike.