To combat youth unemployment, the City of Melbourne teamed up with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) to run youth employability workshops from the 15th to the 19th of May, but only three people attended these seminars.
The free workshops, which took place at the Kathleen Syme Library in Carlton, were advertised on event website Eventbrite with little advertising elsewhere.
The host of these workshops, RMIT’s Course and Careers Adviser Joanne Clarke, expressed her disappointment at the lack of attendance.
“We need to kind of have a look at our marketing strategy around that. There was some problems with Eventbrite around booking and that could have been an issue.”
However, she claimed that the seminar was a success for those who showed up. “Whilst we were disappointed with numbers I think for those who were there they probably found it useful.”
The seminars used both Clarke’s teaching and videos from YouTube, a sign of technology’s growing role in not only the evolving job market but also how job seeking skills are taught. The topics of each workshop ranged from writing job applications to using websites such as LinkedIn to create a public resume and search for jobs.
“Today’s seminar introduced me to a new app,” said Vicky Yang, a young jobseeker who attended the workshops. “I can view my network, I can know my industry, relate to people and maybe in the future I can have the potential to get a job.”
However, even with the growth of the internet and smart technology, youth unemployment in Australia remains more than twice the rate of the general population, according to market forecaster Trading Economics.
“We can just go to the website and see if there’s an opening and apply directly… technology has made job searching easier,” Juliet Ngbeken, an attendee at all five of the workshops, said. “But… technology is being used to replace normal minor jobs.”
This shrinking of the job market was echoed by Clarke. “A lot of jobs that particularly early school leavers or secondary school leavers used to fill in the labour market either no longer exist or are now being taken up by other parts of the labour market like students, and also just generally I think the employers are asking for higher and higher qualifications.”
With such low attendance, the general situation for young people seeking jobs is unlikely to change because of these workshops.
A similar series of workshops for international students took place at the same library the previous year, which Clarke described as “very successful.”