Young people call for paid internships, training and job creation as they tackle life in the ‘gig’ economy

23 Apr 2019
New research shows that 45 percent of young people are not confident, or are unsure, of finding work in their chosen career after completing their studies, with many young people wanting more jobs to be created and additional help finding work through opportunities such as paid internships and training.

A survey of more than 1000 young people by Student Edge’s market research arm, YouthInsight, in partnership with frontline youth service ReachOut, found that 45 percent of young people were not confident, or were unsure, of finding work in their chosen career after completing studies; with 46 percent fairly confident and only nine percent very confident of finding work.

ReachOut CEO Ashley de Silva said the results of the survey show that many young people feel unprepared to enter the new working world.

“The platform economy, driven by services like Uber and Airtasker, is on the up as is a shift towards short-term contractual work or “gigs” and freelancing.

“With this new data showing that so many young people are uncertain about their future, it’s clear that we need to have a robust public conversation around what new skills and training are needed to provide the greatest chance of success.

“This lack of confidence is about the future, but it affects the mental health of young people right now. The uncertainty that surrounds the transition from study to work means that it is a priority to look at how we can best support the mental health and wellbeing needs of young people. We also want young people to know that support is available for them at,” he said.

The survey also asked young people what changes needed to be made to help them find work.
74 percent said there needed to be more opportunities for paid internships and training positions, and 72 percent said more jobs needed to be created for young people. A further 58 percent said learning skills to support job applications, interviews and career management would help, while 55 percent wanted more support to develop skills in problem solving, critical thinking, communication and teamwork.

Student Edge’s Head of Membership, Simon Miraudo, said that young people faced barriers to getting full-time work, with many employers looking for previous work experience and seeking soft skills such as problem solving, creativity and good communication.

“When it comes to helping young people get a job we need to make sure they have the right skills,” Mr Miraudo said.

“Ensuring young people are taught career management skills is essential to meet both employer requirements and to prepare students for a future that will involve multiple jobs and career changes.”

The research was conducted by YouthInsight, the full-service market research arm of membership organisation Student Edge, to deliver insights into the unemployment stresses of young Australians aged 16 to 24.

For more information about ReachOut visit

*YouthInsight surveyed 1,027 students across Australia with age and gender quotas to ensure a balanced sample. ‘Students’ refers to people currently studying between the ages of 16 and 24.  


Media contact

Tessa Anderssen / 0411 708 587 /

 About ReachOut

ReachOut is Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people and their parents. Our practical support, tools and tips help young people get through anything from everyday issues to tough times – and the information we offer parents makes it easier for them to help their teenagers, too.

We’ve been changing the way people access help since we launched the world’s first online mental health service more than 20 years ago. Everything we create is based on the latest evidence and designed with experts, and young people or their parents. This is why our digital self-help tools are trusted, relevant and easy to use.

Available for free anytime and pretty much anywhere, ReachOut is accessed by 132,000 people in Australia every month. That’s more than 1.58 million each year.

About Student Edge 

Student Edge was founded in 2003 by students who recognised the challenges faced by young people on a range of issues such as cost of living, student life, access to part-time work and career guidance. Student Edge is now the largest member-based organisation of high school and tertiary students in Australia, with more than one million members nationwide. For student resources, including study tips and tools to get you job ready, visit

 About YouthInsight

As the market research arm of Student Edge, YouthInsight arose from a desire to share the unique access and understanding of Australia’s Gen Y and Gen Z that the company has developed since opening its doors in 2003. Having worked with industry leaders in finance, education, consumer goods, telecommunications, peak bodies and government departments all the way through to tech start-ups and entrepreneurs, we’ve seen first-hand the power that insights can have on transforming and clarifying understanding, product development and take-to-market strategies.