Media release - Vodafone has launched a ground-breaking international future jobs programme in 18 countries including New Zealand, to provide career guidance and access to training in the digital economy.
The “What Will You Be?” programme is the largest of its kind in the world, and aims to provide digital skills and jobs for up to 10 million young people.
The initiative comes as Vodafone reveals the results of a major international survey of 6,000 young adults aged 18-24 who believe they are ill-equipped to participate in the digital economy despite being the first generation to be “born digital”.
44% of young Kiwis surveyed worry they lack the skills to get a job they will enjoy, and 48% think the hardest challenge for their generation is finding a well-paid permanent job.
31% think most jobs will be replaced by machines in the next 50 years.
A massive 70% say they haven’t had adequate careers advice, with much of the guidance focussed on traditional jobs, rather than the opportunities evolving in the digital world.
Vodafone New Zealand Human Resources Director Antony Welton said as a leading technology company, it was clear more had to be done.
“Over the last year, Vodafone has worked with specialist psychologists, careers advisers and training providers to develop a smartphone-based service. The Future Jobs Finder
(www.vodafone.co.nz/futurejobsfinder) offers young people a simple but comprehensive gateway to new skills and opportunities for employment in the digital economy.
“It consists of quick psychometric tests to identify aptitudes and interests, then maps these to the most appropriate job category in the digital economy. There’s also access to online digital skills training providers, with many of these courses available for free,” Antony said.
Future Jobs Finder users also receive a summary of skills and interests that can be used on their C.V. or in a job application, and a link to the jobs available now, in the field they’ve chosen.
“We hope this fills in the missing pieces in the puzzle for young Kiwis. Having tried it myself I can say that it really quickly picks up on the things you are interested in, and would be good at,” Antony added.
Vodafone’s Graduate Youth Specialist Madeline Wallwork said as a recent graduate, the initiative has the ability to change lives.
“It can be quite overwhelming as a young person leaving school, needing to decide on your future career. We are told that there are so many new digital jobs out there – But how do I get there? Do I have the strengths to start a digital career? This tool tackles that tension – taking the mystery out and showing you digital careers that you’d be good at and could consider.
“In the future every workplace will be digital, accelerating massive demand for a wide range of technology skills. This will help young Kiwis get ahead of the curve,” Madeline said.
Vodafone commissioned YouGov to ask 6,000 18-24 year olds in 15 countries for their views on their future career aspirations and concerns. The international findings from the Vodafone-YouGovThe State of iGen7 research include:
- more than two-thirds (67%) of young people interviewed said they had received insufficient or no careers advice at any point in their education or since leaving school or university;
- of those who had received careers advice during their time in education, just 15% said the careers advice they had received included more future-focused, digital jobs, 38% felt the advice they had received was focused purely on traditional non-digital roles and 22% said the careers advice they received was ‘out-of-date’;
- more than half (56%) believe the greatest struggle for their generation is to find any kind of well-paid, permanent job, a proportion rising to 64% among young women; and
- more than one-fifth (23%) appear to have lost all confidence and worry they do not have the skills to take on any role, no matter how basic.
The full The State of iGen research - including a country-by-country breakdown and additional statistics can be found at: https://yougov.co.uk/find-solutions/omnibus/international/vodafone-study-igen/.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that more than 200 million young people are either unemployed or have a job but live in poverty. Previous studies have found that a prolonged period of unemployment shortly after a young person leaves education to enter the workforce can have a lifelong negative effect on individual confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing.