The workplace is ever-changing. Employers are demanding increasing flexibility, adaptability, short-term contracts, and project-based work. Workers are increasingly demanding job security, higher wages, and better work conditions. Both from the supply and demand side of the work equation, we are experiencing very challenging times ahead for both employers and workers within the context of increasing business competition, automation, and an aging population. Unfortunately, this gap will only increase over time in the future.
Without a doubt, there will be more over-qualified job seekers and graduates going after fewer available job vacancies due mainly to automation and the aging population. As a result, more young people especially will increasingly be forced into spending more time in higher education.
In the process of acquiring more head knowledge, they will also be incurring more student loan debts that will weigh them down financially (and socially) for most of their lives, causing them financial stress. This has also increased mental health issues experienced by many young people.
On paper, unfortunately, all college or university graduates will look the same. This creates tremendous competition and under-employment among younger job seekers trying to enter the job market.
Apart from spending time and money on their education, many young people will graduate without acquiring the right employable (job-ready) and practical skills and experience that employers are desperately seeking to give businesses a competitive edge over other businesses. This includes making more money or saving money.
In response to a very competitive business environment, employers are constantly restructuring and practising just-in-time hiring and contracting. They are increasing their use of short-term skilled workers or contractors when the need arises, without the headaches of fixed overheads and permanent workforces. This gives employers the business flexibility to pivot and adapt to the ever-changing customer needs and competitors’ actions.