When you first enter the workforce aged 15-21, the Catch-22 situation is familiar. You can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience if you haven’t had a job. At least, that’s the pessimistic take and for certain non-entry level positions and prestige industries, it may hold true.
Fortunately, however, there are plenty of employers looking for bright, capable, and available school leavers to fill their workforces. There are also companies willing to employ people in their early 20s who, for whatever reason, have not previously entered employment.
To aid with this process, Asuria is a provider of the Australian Government’s Transition to Work Program. We’ll explain more about that below. But first, let’s look at five sectors that most frequently employ workers with little or no prior experience.
Catering and HospitalityKitchen staff, waiters and bartenders are always in demand, as they tend to see seasonal bumps, and are often treated as transitional positions which experience a high rate of staff turnover. Although Australia doesn’t have the tipping culture of America or the UK, workers can expect to augment their wages with tips, when these are shared fairly.
Bars and restaurants are a good source of entry-level jobs in catering, but hotels too may be looking for cleaning and reception staff, as well as kitchen staff, waiters, and bartenders. Obviously, these opportunities will be more plentiful in areas that are popular tourist destinations.
Fast-food outlets and food trucks are other possibilities, as are event catering companies. The latter often employ a pool of available workers and offer casual or zero-hours contracts, which may not suit applicants seeking a steady income.
RetailSupermarkets, clothing stores and other outlets also have a high turnover of staff and provide good routes to career advancement for school leavers with an interest in grocery or retail. Working in retail can be a good way of learning a range of skills applicable to starting a business including sales and marketing, branding, and customer service.
Retail onboarding experiences a boom in the weeks approaching the holiday season, so this could be a good time to get a foot in the door at your favourite retailer.
AdministrationReception duties and entry-level administration work in local government, healthcare, and private corporations are often available to school leavers. The work can prove very varied and will help build your resume for future office-based work (although an increasing number of roles are becoming remote positions, due to COVID-19 measures and general industry trends).
Being a receptionist suits young people who are confident and love interacting with the public. It can be a good springboard into other types of work as you’ll tend to meet everyone who works in or does business with the organisation whose reception desk you staff.
InternshipsAlthough sometimes unpaid, or comparatively poorly paid, internships can provide entry points to work environments, including media and entertainment positions, which are otherwise difficult to access. Knowledge and experience in challenging sectors can be gained by taking on short-term internships. They are very much “foot in the door” positions where sharp elbows and determination can lead to further opportunities.
Internships are usually provided for limited time periods, which does have the advantage of allowing interns to gain experience in a range of different companies in the same year, which can help pad out a thin resume.
Apprenticeships / TraineeshipsThe benefit of traineeships and apprenticeships is that you gain specific, in-demand skills, working alongside more experienced technicians or craftspeople. They are good routes into traditional industries such as plumbing, electrical engineering, carpentry, baking and more.
Apprenticeships tend to train workers into very specific, traditional trades, whereas traineeships can be more broad-based and may include newer occupations such as business administration and computer coding.
The Australian Apprenticeships government scheme offers access to over 500 different professions for both school leavers and older employees re-entering the workplace or changing careers. The government maintains a list of skills for which there is a current shortage, which could prove useful.
What is the Transition to Work Program?
Formerly the Youth Employment Partnership, the TTW program is designed to help young jobseekers (aged 15-24) become work-ready and able to secure their first positions. It is a thorough and hands-on program that arms young people with everything they need to impress potential employers and secure gainful employment.
The program includes:
- Experienced employment mentors for each participant.
- Study groups to share experiences and boost confidence.
- Financial support for travel and other associated costs.
- Youth Bonus wage subsidies, where appropriate.
- Access to job opportunities tailored to each applicant.
- Introductions to employers whose needs match applicants’ skills and interests.
Transition to Work Eligibility Requirements
Applicants must be aged 15-24 and EITHER:
- An Australian citizen OR
- Holder of a permanent residence visa OR
- NZ Special Category visa holder OR
- Nominated visa holder (includes Temporary Protection / Safe Haven visas).
Furthermore, applicants’ eligibility is assessed according to their specific circumstances. The following will be considered:
- Whether the applicant has a Year 12 Certificate or Certificate III,
- And has been employed within 12 months,
- Or is in receipt of income support (i.e., Youth Allowance).
- Whether the applicant is participating in another employment support programme, such as Jobactive.
Talk to Asuria today about whether you or your child may be eligible for the TTW Program and kickstart that employment adventure.