Sunday Times, 21.8.16:
THREE of Australia’s biggest youth employers – McDonalds, KFC and Coles – have pledged 4000 jobs to inexperienced workers, kicking off News Corp’s 5000 jobs in 50 days campaign.
The campaign is a call to action for employers to give young workers a go, reconsidering the need for experience to offer more first-time jobs.
It is in response to a national youth unemployment rate of 13.2 per cent for job seekers aged 15 to 24 more than double the 5.7 per cent overall jobless rate.
John Durkan, managing director of Coles, which has pledged 2000 jobs across the group for people of any age without prior experience, said first jobs gave young people independence and a direction for the rest of their career.
Mr Durkan’s first job was in a UK butcher shop at age 13.
“It’s a great start in life when you do some part time work,” he said.
“It makes you feel like you’ve got some freedom (and) that you’re starting to mature and have your own life.”
Coles hired 8000 people aged 21 or younger across its supermarkets alone last financial year.
“Some will carry on to work full time, some will want part time work or casual summer jobs but all get work experience,” Mr Durkan said.
“They help us as well. They bring energy, excitement and newness to the organisation. For old timers like me they challenge the status quo.”
KFC Australia managing director Tony Lowings said Generations Y and Z worked differently to past generations.
“They want to work in an organisation that values them as a human being,” he said.
“We really pride ourself on creating a lovely working culture in our stores.”
KFC Australia has pledged 1000 jobs to the campaign across its 630 restaurants.
“We give people skills for life – how to communicate, work in a team, how to groom themselves. Those kinds of structures really set people up to become much more employable and contributors,” Mr Lowings said.
“They might go on to become a nurse or helicopter pilot or whatever but we want to set them up and that’s our contribution to society.”
McDonalds Australia has pledged another 1000 jobs.
Chief people officer Cathy Doyle said young workers could also use their first job to gain nationally recognised qualifications.
“We’re a registered training organisation so we believe in skilling and providing recognised qualifications people can take for life,” she said.
“We invest over $40 million in training every year but for us that’s what makes them hit the ground running and make them a constructive worker.
“It’s critical for organisations to have a pathway so people can see where they are moving to.”
Do you have a job for a firsttime job seeker? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and join our campaign.