The new work reality | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

The new work reality

20 Aug 2018

Students today are embarking on a brave new world of work. A recent report by the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) found that, although young people face a number of barriers to gaining employment, there are factors which can accelerate the transition of young people into full-time work. We explain how USC is helping to ensure the best possible employment outcomes of its students and what else parents can do to assist the process.

About the report

The New Work Order[1] report followed the data of 14,000 15 to 25-year-olds over a 10-year period. It found that compared to previous years, young people are less likely to be employed full-time, although many are working full-time hours in part-time or casual positions.

Barriers to full-time work for these young people included not enough work experience, a lack of career management skills, a lack of appropriate education and not enough jobs.

How can young people increase their chances of getting full-time work?

The FYA report details that there were some factors that accelerated young people’s likelihood of gaining fulltime work. These included:

  • Having paid experience in a relevant position — 12 months earlier
  • Receiving an education that helped them to develop enterprise skills such as problem-solving, communication, teamwork and creativity— 17 months earlier
  • Choosing employment areas, ‘clusters’ that are future focused and forecast for growth. These include ‘carers’, ‘technologists’ and ‘informers’ —5 months earlier
  • Having an optimistic mindset and a good sense of wellbeing— 2 months earlier.
How is USC accelerating the employability of its graduates?

USC’s graduates are in strong demand by employers. In 2017, USC was ranked in the top three universities in Australia in the 2017 Employer Satisfaction Survey[2]. In addition, 87 percent of USC’s graduates[3] were employed within four months of finishing their degree. Here’s some of the aspects of USC that are contributing to the successful outcomes of our students:

  • USC has some of the most advanced technologies and spaces in the country for teaching engineering, nursing, paramedicine, law and the creative industries, including the CAVE2 visualisation studio, one of only four facilities in the world. This facility immerses students in learning using a 270-degree circle of floor to ceiling screens.
  • Most USC degrees include Work Integrated Learning (WIL), such as a placement, practicum or internship, which gives students the opportunity to put their theory into practice, develop personal and professional skills and to develop job networks, as well as receive credit towards their degree.
  • USC helps support and guide students in their study/career journey through a comprehensive suite of support and career services such as resume help, free counselling, and academic help. This also includes one-on-one career planning advice, which is also available to prospective students and those up to two years from graduating from USC.
  • Through elements such as groupwork, presentations, student use of technology and research, all USC courses aim to help students build important skills required in twenty-first century workplaces.
What can parents do to help?

The future of work may seem daunting compared to what most parents have experienced. For example, today’s 15-year-olds are likely to have 17 changes in employers across five different careers[4]. However, parents can play an important role in helping their children along the journey to a job by:

  • Encouraging your child to get a part-time job as this experience and the referees that they will develop will be invaluable to future job opportunities
  • Helping your child research different industries, especially those that have significant growth potential such as health, IT, creative industries, education and business
  • Supporting your child to develop resilience, especially learning to keep positive when things might not go to plan — there are so many opportunities available
  • Practising important skills with your child such as their communication and problem solving — employers are not just looking for people who are technically competent, but those who can speak to customers and work effectively with others on projects

For more help and advice on career support, visit Careers and employment.

[1] The Foundation for Young Australians (2018): The New Work Reality,

[2] Employer Satisfaction Survey (2016 & 2017), Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching survey suite,

[3] Graduate Outcomes Survey

[4] Foundation for Young Australians (2015) :The New Work Order,

Subscribe to the Parent Lounge Update and keep up-to-date with everything you need to know about uni for your child.

Success! Something went wrong! {{responseMessage}}

Related articles

An alternative pathway to university: Zoe Brennocks’ story
15 Aug

Like so many Year 11 and 12 students, Zoe Brennocks didn’t really know what she wanted to do after high school, and after dropping her ATAR subjects in Year 11, she thought her dreams of going to university were over.

Is your child ready to apply for university? Here’s our step-by-step guide for navigating QTAC
4 Aug

QTAC applications are now open so it’s time for your Year 12 student to get their university plans sorted for next year.

HECS-HELP debt inflation – what does this mean for your child at university?
1 Jun

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news, you will have heard that inflation is on the rise, and with that comes an increase in the indexation rate for HECS-HELP loans.