Youth can’t replace experience

An income and wealth report from AMP and the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (AMP.NATSEM) has found that as the baby boomer generation retires, Australia will see a significant amount of skills and experience move out of the workplace.

“As older people leave the workforce they will take with them skills and experience, while many young people are struggling to find work. As a consequence, it might mean that younger people are not getting the experience they need to do these jobs in the future,” said AMP Chief Customer Officer Paul Sainsbury.

As the baby boomer generation moves towards retirement, the proportion of people aged 65 and over is expected to be around a quarter of the total population by 2050.

Young people under the age of 20 are currently 4.5 times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of Australia’s working population. Couple that statistic with the Government’s proposed plans to deregulate tertiary education, and the outlook for Australia’s professional occupation industries looks bleak.

However, the good news is that the report also found that women now represent the majority in four out of the eight occupation groups which are measured by the Australian Census. From 1991 to 2011, there has also been a healthy increase in female participation in part-time employment – from 52 per cent to 61 per cent.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Australia is in the top 10 countries in the world when it comes to low unemployment
  • the most common types of work have shifted from factory and farming to professional and administrative.

The report shows significant shifts in Australia’s income and industry over the years, and according to Mr Sainsbury, “highlights the challenges of an ageing population”. 

“With lower birth rates and much longer life expectancy, it is critically important for people to adequately plan for their future so they not only enjoy a comfortable retirement, but also [that] Australia remains prosperous as the workforce composition changes,” Mr Sainsbury said.

View the AMP.NATSEM report

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.