Employers can have perceptions about young employees in the workplace. But are these attitudes and ideas accurate? Here are some of the many benefits of including young people in your business or organisation.
Young employees in the workplace
Did you know that having a positive experience at work can have a positive impact on a young person’s mental health? Work is good for wellbeing. Employees who are supported in their mental health and well-being are more productive, are absent from work less often and are more likely to remain in a work role. This benefits businesses financially, with research suggesting that every dollar invested in effective mental health strategies can generate $2.30 in benefits. A mentally healthy workplace is good for employees and for workplaces too.
Benefits of youth employment
Over the past decade there has been a decline in the proportion of young people in full time work. Young people are more likely than other age groups to be unemployed or under employed and face significant barriers to seeking employment. However, work has many benefits to health and wellbeing for young people. It builds skill, responsibility, and confidence, contributes to independence, financial security and improves mental health outcomes. It benefits the community too; improving productivity, building a workforce, avoiding the problems associated with financial disadvantage, and creating a sustainable future. There are many great reasons for taking on a young employee!
Why young people can be an asset to your business
Young employees can bring a different way of thinking to your workplace. These fresh perspectives can provide new and novel approaches and solutions so the learning goes both ways! Young workers bring an attitude of openness to your workplace, they celebrate difference and value equity and inclusion. Employing a young person can help your business keep up to date and provide a diversity of experience and ideas.
Technological advancement is moving quickly, and it can be hard to keep up. It is changing the nature of work and the types of skills required at work. Young people have grown up with technology (you might have heard of ‘digital natives’?) and are readily able to apply and understand different types of technology in the workplace, sometimes assisting older workers in the process! Including young people on your team may help your business to adopt and use new processes, technologies and platforms.
Including young workers in your team can help you to understand and reach a younger market. They have connections that older employees might not. They may be engaged in sporting clubs, education settings or be members of local recreational or volunteer groups. They know how to communicate with their younger peers, understand their needs and behaviours and can help your business to grow in this area too.
Young people are used to learning. They are keen to build their experience and apply their skills to a workplace. Their recent training (60% of 25-year olds have a post school qualification ) means that they are up to date with contemporary knowledge. They have a growth mindset and are more likely to absorb new learnings, giving you the opportunity to develop their skills to specifically meet the needs of your workplace. They will also be less set in their ways and easier to train. Young people are intrinsically motivated to grow, advance, and develop in new work roles. This capacity to be flexible and forward looking gives them the potential to learn and grow in areas that your business requires.
Young people are keen to contribute to the workplace. They often have inbuilt optimism and the ability to anticipate and adapt to change. This enthusiasm can be infectious and contribute to workplace culture, helping to improve productivity, build teams and boost morale.
You might be able to take advantage of government supported traineeships or apprenticeships to assist with the costs and training of a young employee. This assists a young person in developing skills and getting a start in a career and subsidises the costs to the employer. To learn more about support for your business, visit the Get Your Business Growing website.
Young people have skills, enthusiasm and innovative ideas to bring to the workplace, helping your business to stay fresh and up to date. With support, a young employee can help your workplace to flourish, providing new skills and building a workforce for the future.
Mental health at work
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Last reviewed 16 June 2021.
 PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia. (2014). “Creating a mentally healthy workplace: return on investment analysis”. Beyond Blue. bl1269-brochure---pwc-roi-analysis.pdf (headsup.org.au)
 Foundation for Young Australians The New Work Reality report 2018
 Bradely and Devadason, 2010. “Fractured Transitions: Young Adults’ Pathways into Contemporary Labour Markets”, Sociology, Feb, Vol 42 (1), pp. 119-136