A new report released by EY and leading online mental health organisation, ReachOut reveals workforce disruption is impacting the mental health and wellbeing of young people and contributing to high levels of exam stress.
The report, Ready or Not, was developed based on research from an online survey of more than 1000 young people, peer-reviewed research and qualitative interviews with key industry informants including employees, academics and educators.
The research reveals at least 25 percent of students sought help from a counsellor, GP or mental health professional due to exam stress with the most cited source of this stress caused from worrying about the future or concern about getting a job.
Less than half of students surveyed believe they are ready for the workforce after finishing their studies (47 percent) with almost one in five (18.7 per cent) disclosing they did not feel confident they would be able to find work.
According to Caitlin Francis, Partner at EY Australia, the report finds that some of the structures to support young people in this new working world are falling short.
“A focus on skills like critical thinking and collaboration will help prepare young people entering a working world where technology is changing roles and the very nature of work,” Francis said.
“Additionally, career education that prepares young people for the transition from education to employment is very important, together with real world work experience like internships and apprenticeships.”
According to Ashley de Silva, CEO of ReachOut, 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 right now.
“By listening to young people, we found that young people are naturally excited and optimistic, but also scared about their personal futures. They are concerned about performing well in exams and the impacts of the future of work and the hope of finding stable employment,” de Silva said.
“It’s essential that we empower and invest in our educators, parents and families as well as the broader workforce to mitigate the stress and anxiety that young people may experience and support their pathway to full-time employment,” he concluded.
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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young Australia, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.
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