Vocational Education and Training: Myths, realities and the future of skills in Australia

Monday, May 22, 2017

Over the past few months it has been our delight to have worked with Skilling Australia Foundation to research, write and design a ground-breaking report on vocational education in Australia.

This report, released today, gives an overview of the trends currently impacting the Australian workforce and outlines responses that will help futureproof the local economy amidst these global megatrends.

The transition of the workforce from the currently dominant Baby Boomers and Generation X to Generations Y and Z will require different and more diverse solutions to previous intergenerational transfers. As this report points out, the need to be innovative, collaborative and responsive require more emphasis on vocational education and training (VET) in addition to our well regarded higher education sector. In a multi- career era, it is upskilling and retraining that will create a nimble and relevant workforce. In this technologically transformative society, today’s new workers will have to be lifelong learners, with hands-on skills not just academic qualifications, and a focus on productivity not just theory. In these economically fluctuating times, tertiary education will increasingly be required to deliver a return on investment, direct employment outcomes and strong career earning. In all of these areas it is the VET sector that offers compelling solutions to these emerging needs.

This report clearly shows the key role of the VET sector in these transformed times. It also highlights the need to prioritise, promote and position the sector to respond competently to the current needs and opportunities of the Australian economy.

The VET sector is more than just a partner in equipping the emerging workforce, it is the first foundational rung in Australia’s future economic prosperity.

For more information or to access the report, visit Skilling Australia Foundation here.

RECENT MEDIA COVERAGE


Melbourne’s population growth and the challenges for cemeteries

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Australia’s population is growing. We are currently experiencing a baby boom, with births exceeding 300,000 a year. But we are also ageing. 30 years ago, the over 65s made up just 11% of our population. Today they make up 15% of our population, and in a decades time this cohort will make up 18% of our population.

Australia’s growing and ageing population means that the increase in deaths is growing even faster than the population growth rate. Within a decade there will be 100,000 more deaths in Australia each year (232,000) than we had each year, just a decade ago (132,000).

Melbourne is currently the fastest growing city in Australia with a population growth rate of 1.9%. By the middle of this century it will overtake Sydney to be Australia’s largest city when it will also be the city with the highest annual deaths. A decade ago, Melbourne saw around 25,000 deaths per year but in a decade this number will be almost 45,000 each year- a massive increase.

When it comes to arranging a funeral, our research shows that cost is the biggest influencer – even above religion, culture and family traditions. That is why 2 in 3 Australians now have a preference for cremations, but 1 in 3 are still be opting for burial. So even with the increasing trend towards cremations, there will still be more people being buried in 10 years’ time than we had 10 years ago.

References: Deaths Australia (ABS), McCrindle Research Deaths and Funerals in Australia

About Ashley Fell

Ashley Fell is a social researcher, trends analyst and Team Leader of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms, content creation and event management, Ashley is well positioned to advise how to achieve cut-through in these message-saturated times. Her expertise is in training and equipping leaders and teams on how to communicate across generational barriers.

With academic qualifications in communications and experience in leading the communications strategy at McCrindle, Ashley brings robust, research-based content to her engaging presentations and consulting.


To have Ashley speak at your next event, feel free to contact Kimberley Linco on 02 8824 3422 or kim@mccrindle.com.au.

SMART Breakfast Seminar Recap

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Last Friday morning, it was our privilege to co-host the SMART Breakfast Seminar alongside NBRS Architecture at Macquarie University.

Thank you to Macquarie University for hosting us at their brand-new facility, designed by NBRS Architecture and of course a big thank you to all those in attendance. For those who missed the morning, here is an event recap.

The morning kicked off with a delicious breakfast and a time of networking with McCrindle and NBRS clients.


After a warm welcome from our MC Eliane Miles, Mark McCrindle opened the morning by providing a snapshot of our changing nation with the just-released census data. As we approach the next decade, Mark had a look back at the last decade and uncovered some of the megatrends that are redefining our multigenerational workforce.

We then heard from McCrindle’s Team Leader of Communications, Ashley Fell. Ashley gave us an insight into how our world is changing, therefore how our workplace leadership needs changing. Ashley shared the engagement equation on how to create culture, purpose and impact in our workplaces.

Next, it was over to NBRS, the brilliant architects who designed the new Macquarie University building. Directors, Andrew Duffin and James Ward shared how their vision for the muli-purpose conference facility was inspired by a new style of working space for academic institutions.

James Ward helped us understand workspaces in academia and the trends that present a blueprint for a new working environment.

Andrew Duffin, design director for the Macquarie University project, deconstructed the latest architectural trends for work, learning and living and how to create smart work spaces.

We’d like to say a big thank you to all of our valued clients and friends who attended the breakfast. Be sure to look out for our future events taking place in Sydney, and if you're interested in having one our McCrindle Speakers present at your next event, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! 

ABOUT MCCRINDLE SPEAKERS


At McCrindle, our team of professional speakers are in demand for their ability to clearly communicate the insights in engaging ways. Presenting at a variety of national and international events including keynote addresses at conferences, onsite professional development workshops and strategy briefings for senior leaders, the McCrindle speakers are recognised as leaders in tracking emerging issues, researching social trends, and are regarded as expert social researchers, futurists and story tellers.

To make an inquiry, please feel free to get in touch via email, or on 02 8824 3422.

Faith and Belief in Australia

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Faith and Belief in Australia Report is being launched today. A survey of 1,024 Australians shows that religion in Australia is not dead. 

Two in three identify with a religion or spirituality
More than two in three Australians (68%) follow a religion or have spiritual beliefs. Of those that do, almost half (47%) remain committed to the religion of their upbringing. The number of Australians who do not identify with a religion or spiritual belief, however, is on the rise with almost one in three (32%) not identifying with a religion. This study replicated the ABS Census question, but added in an option for ‘spiritual but not religious’. This had a response rate of 14% among Australians nationally, and the Christianity grouping was 45% (down from 61% in the 2011 Census).

More than half of Australians (52%) are open to changing their religious views given the right circumstances and evidence. Younger Australians are more open to changing their current religious views than older generations.

Religion and spirituality a popular topic of conversation
When gathering with friends, more than half of Australians (55%) often or occasionally talk about religion or spirituality. Generation Z (65%) are the most comfortable talking the topic, while the Baby Boomers are the least with 51% never talking about it with their friends.

A genuine faith the greatest attraction to a religion or spirituality
Observing people with genuine faith is the greatest attraction to investigating spirituality. Second is experiencing personal trauma or a significant life change. On the inverse, the top repellent to Australians investigating is public figures or celebrities who are examples of that faith. This is followed by miraculous stories of healings or supernatural occurrences.

Perceptions of Christianity 
Australians most value Christian organisations for their work with those in need, specifically looking after people who are homeless, offering financial assistance/food relief programs and providing disaster relief (74%, 72% and 69% respectively).  8% of Australian adults (1.5 million) do not know any Christians, while for Generation Y this is almost one in ten. One in 29 Australians have never heard of Jesus.

Research Launch
The full Faith and Belief in Australia research will be launched on Tuesday 9th May at an event in Sydney (register here) and Wednesday 10th May in Melbourne (register here). 

Download the full report here

McCrindle NBRS SMART Breakfast Seminar

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Next Friday, 12th May 2017 we are looking forward to co-hosting the SMART Breakfast Seminar alongside NBRS Architecture at Macquarie University.

Be amongst the first to experience the newly opened roof-top conference facility at the re-generated Mitchell building. NBRS, the architects of this project, will share the story of how this original campus building was re-imagined for its new purpose. They will also give insights into the elements of effective workplace design. 

In addition, Mark McCrindle will deliver an overview of the newly released Census data regarding workforce demographics, generational change and the future of work. Ashley Fell from McCrindle will also be sharing about the importance of creating workplaces that engage a multigenerational workforce, and in particular the Millennials.  

Event Details

Date: Friday, 12th May

Time: 7:00am – 8:45am

Location: Macquarie University E7A Building, No. 12 Wally’s Walk, Level 8

REGISTER YOUR ATTENDANCE FOR THIS FREE EVENT HERE




Hills Business Performance Sentiment Index

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

On Friday in conjunction with The Hills Shire Council and the Sydney Hills Business Chamber, we released the Hills Business Performance Sentiment Index which gives an ongoing measure of the local economic conditions and business confidence. 

This study, now in its third year is very important in an entrepreneurial hotspot like the Hills, which is home to more than 20,000 businesses and almost 100,000 employees. 

The area is also strong with start-ups, which are expanding the local economy. Every week in the Hills, 15 new businesses commence operations and with the new transport infrastructure, commercial constructions and emerging urban centres, the number of new business start-ups locally will likely accelerate.

This year’s results highlight the challenging conditions local businesses are currently experiencing. The overall rating this year is lower than last year although the forward forecast remains strong. The current economic conditions are subdued and business expenses are up, yet such is the way of Australian entrepreneurs, their sentiment and outlook is decidedly positive.

Of the 21 measures, the two that scored the lowest, highlighting the biggest challenges, were the increasing business costs and the local infrastructure challenges. The highest two scores indicated that revenue forecasts for the six months ahead will rise and that local businesses forecast they will take on more staff this year. Therefore, the flat domestic economy, issues from under-construction local infrastructure and higher costs to revenue metrics are all viewed as temporary, though challenging circumstances.

Our thanks go to The Hills Shire Council and the Sydney Hills Business Chamber who recognise the importance of this Business Performance Sentiment Index in a growing local economy, amidst volatile times and facing massive change. Their foresight to commission such a project, commitment to its ongoing deployment and generosity in making it freely available to the business community is to be heartily commended.

Download the full report here.



Click below to view the previous Hills PSI Reports

Baby Names Australia 2017 Report

Monday, May 01, 2017

Around one in ten of Australia’s 300,000 babies born in the last year were given one of the Top 10 baby names. There were 2,145 boys named Oliver and 1,817 girls named Charlotte last year. You can read the full 2017 Baby Names Australia report here

Oliver and Charlotte take out the top baby names

Maintaining the top spot from 2014 is Oliver, having overtaken Jack and William which were first in 2011 and 2012-2013 respectively. Oliver was the top boys’ name in all states (except WA where Jack ranked number one). Jack also took out the top spot in the NT, while William was number one in the ACT.

Charlotte, with 1,817 occurrences is the top girl baby name in Australia for the second year in a row, exceeding Olivia – who held the top rank in 2014. Charlotte took out the top baby girl name in every state but NSW, where Olivia was more popular.

Four new boys’ and five new girls’ names enter the top 100

Last year four new boys’ names and five new girl’s names entered the top 100 list. For boys, Sonny (84th) makes a first ever entrance into the Top 100 along with Vincent (99th) and Parker (100th). Meanwhile John (94th) makes a comeback- having been the number one name nationally throughout much of the 1930’s and 1940’s. These names enter at the expense of Braxton, Jesse, Harley and Jett.

For girls, names making the Top 100 for the first time include Bonnie (82nd), Thea (85th), Quinn (90th), Florence (97th)and Brooklyn (99th). These names enter at the expense of Lillian, Leah, Gabriella, Maryam and Maggie.


Extinction and reinvention

Wayne, Darren, Brett and Craig all achieved popularity in the 1960s /70s, but by the 90s were also out of the Top 100. Jack, which has had more years at number one this century than any other boys name, was not even in the Top 100 in 1985. It is an example of the 100 year return, having been the fifth most popular name in the 1920s, before its decline until recent years. 

Throughout the 1960s, Sharon was a Top 10 name, even becoming the second most popular name for two years in the mid-1960s. However, by the late 1970s the name had dropped towards the end of the list and has not appeared in the Top 100 since 1983. Kylie, Donna and Tracey have encountered similar patterns of popularity in the 60s/70s, but have all dropped out of the Top 100 in the 80s/90s.

Grace was a moderately popular girls’ name at the turn of the 20th century, coming to a near decline from the 1910s to 1970s but climbing significantly in popularity since the 1980s. Over the last five years it has been consistently rising in popularity and for two years now has been in the Top 10. Charlotte is another example of a near extinct name that has significant resurgence. In 1989 it debuted back in the Top 100 for the first time in the modern era, at 86th, and by 2013 it achieved first position on the list, which it has retained for four of the last five years.

Top names in previous decades

Joshua was the most popular boys’ name in Australia for almost a decade from the mid 1990’s until 2003. Its reign at the top of the list is a feat unequalled even by Jack which replaced it as the top name in 2004 but only held an uninterrupted run for five years. Not since the dominance of David in the 1960’s or Michael in the 1970’s has a boys’ name had such a run. However the decline in popularity of Joshua has been consistent since then, falling 15 places to 29th just in the last five years. 20 years ago there were four times as many babies given the name Joshua each year compared to today.

Jessica was Australia’s most popular girls’ name for an unprecedented 16 years out of the 18 years from 1984 to 2001 inclusive. By the mid 1990’s, approximately one in every 30 girls born in Australia was named Jessica compared to just one in 85 today given the current top girls’ name Charlotte. In just over a decade, Jessica dropped from first to 29th. In the five years since 2013, Jessica has dropped another 47 places to 75th. Based on the current trends, Jessica will be out of the Top 100 by 2020, less than 20 years after it was in top spot.

Botanic themes

Girls’ names are strongly influenced by all things botanical with examples being Lily (13th), Ivy (20th) Willow (27th), Violet (38th), Jasmine (46th), Poppy (52nd), Rose (76th), Daisy (79th) and Olive (81st). In contrast, no Top 100 boys’ names have botanic influences.

A Royal Influence

The original category of celebrities – the royals – have not only captured the loyalty and affections of modern Australians but contribute to significantly influence their choice in baby names. The younger generation of the Royal family have resonated with their contemporary generation Y’s in Australia who are now also in their family forming life-stage. The births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte have contributed to the popularity of these names. Like George’s rank which increased from 71st in 2012 to 38th in 2016, in 2015 we saw the name Charlotte overtake Olivia as the nation’s most popular baby girl name. Charlotte is once again the top baby girl name for 2016.

In addition to George and Charlotte, other well-known royal names that feature in the Top 100 include William, Henry, Edward, Charles, Elizabeth, Alexandra and Victoria.

Past reports 

Sydney at 5 million and the growth of The Hills Shire

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sydney has now officially hit a new population milestone of 5 million, and almost half of the population (2.2 million) reside in the 14 local government areas that make up Western Sydney of which The Hills is one.

If Western Sydney was a city in its own right, it would be the 4th largest city in Australia after Melbourne, the rest of Sydney, and Brisbane. While Western Sydney is just slightly smaller than Brisbane’s population of 2.3 million, it is growing 30% faster than Brisbane.

The population of The Hills is greater than the population of Darwin, and the two local government areas of Blacktown and The Hills have a combined population almost the same size as the entire state of Tasmania. This growth is evident in the increasing development seen around the Hills. The increasing urbanisation has raised the density of The Hills to 4.15 people per hectare, above Hornsby Shire’s 3.69 and well above Hawkesbury’s 0.24.

What differs the hills to the rest of Sydney?

The Hills Shire is now almost 10% larger than that recorded in the 2011 Census. Not only is the Hills population growing faster than the national growth rate, but the average household is significantly larger than the Australian average (3.1 compared to 2.6 people per household) and the district is home to a higher proportion of students, university educated adults and full time workers than both the national and state averages. The region is more culturally diverse with 3 in 5 residents having at least one parent born overseas compared to less than half of Australians nationally. The proportion of school-age children locally is 20% higher than the Sydney average, and those in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s are similarly well above the greater-Sydney average.

Age gap in the Hills Shire

There is a hole in the Hills’ demographic, a 15-year gap in the numbers of locals aged 23 to 38. This missing group, neatly lining up with Generation Y, is a staggering 20% smaller than is average across the rest of Sydney. In fact, while there has been an increase in numbers of almost every age group over the 5 years between the last two Census reports, for the mid 20’s to mid-30’s there has actually been a decrease in numbers.

Entrepreneurial hotspot

The Sydney Hills is also an entrepreneurial hotspot, with 32,191 actively trading local businesses. So while the local population represents less than 0.7% of Australia, the number of businesses is more than twice this share at 1.5% of all Australian businesses. And with the new transport infrastructure, commercial constructions and emerging urban centres, the number of new business start-ups in the Hills will only grow.

The future of the Hills Shire

The future for the Hills will include more pockets of urbanisation which will create options for those looking for apartment living, walkable communities and a café culture. However, the size and diversity of the area will mean that the suburban and semi-rural nature of other parts will remain and the overall density will never reach the highs of local government areas like Parramatta which currently has 27.48 people per hectare. Not too many parts of Australia offer high-density living options just 10 minutes’ drive from acreage. Little wonder The Hills is one of the fastest growing regions in NSW.


Mark McCrindle will present the results of the 2017 Hills Business PSI, the third year of this study this Friday at the Sydney Hills Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Lunch at which the Premier will deliver the keynote address.

If you would like a copy of the full Hills PSI Report please let us know and we will make it available after Friday’s launch.

Changing Face of Sydney Transport

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

From high above, aerial images show Sydney un-earthed. These before and after images detail the changing face of Sydney’s suburbs. Major progress is being made on key Sydney infrastructure projects as the city prepares for ongoing population growth.

 Before After 

Sydney’s growing population

Sydney reached 5 million at the end of June 2016. While it took almost 30 years (1971 – 2000) for Sydney's population to increase from 3 million to 4 million people, it took only another 16 years to reach its next million. 

Growing by 83,000 people every 12 months (at 1.7%, above the national average of 1.4%), the city needs infrastructure to keep pace with this population growth.

NSW projections show that NSW will grow to 9.9 million people by 2036. Sydney is two-thirds of this number, so will reach 6.5 million in the next 20 years, and 8 million by 2050.

How we commute to work in Sydney

Almost 2 in 3 Australian commuters get to work by private car (65.5%, up from 65.3% 5 years ago) with just 1 in 10 relying on public transport. The 2011 Census showed that 58% of Sydneysiders commute to work by car, 9% by train, 5% by bus, and a further 4% walked. 

Social researcher Eliane Miles notes, "Sydney-siders are spending a significant amount of time moving each day. While the average work trip for a Sydneysider is around 35 minutes, for many Sydneysiders the journey to work takes much longer. Commuters in Sydney's outer suburbs are often spending five times this length (up to 2.5 hours) per trip each way. Sydney is investing more in infrastructure than other world cities of comparable population size, and it is critical that investment in both roads and public transport options continues." 

You can watch the full story on Nine News here


About Eliane Miles

Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the megatrends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways.

From the key demographic transformations such as population growth to social trends such as changing household structures, to generational change and the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends.

To have Eliane speak at your next event, feel free to contact Kimberley Linco on 02 8824 3422 or kim@mccrindle.com.au.

Download Eliane’s professional speakers pack here

Religion, Churchgoing and Easter

Friday, April 14, 2017

Each year Easter provides an opportunity for Australians to not just consume copious amounts of chocolate but also to reflect on the Christian meaning of this national holiday.

The rise of “No religion”

A decade ago, Australians selecting “No religion” in the Census ranked third, at 18.7%, after Catholic (25.8%) and Anglican (18.7%). By 2011, No religion rose by 4.5% points to 22.3%, overtaking Anglican (which had fallen slightly to 17.1%), though still ranked second after Catholic (down to 25.3%).

If this trend has continued, the Census 2016 results (to be released on 27 June) will be the first in Australia’s history to record No religion larger than any other religious grouping.

In the 2011 Census, only three of Australia’s eight states and territories had Catholic as the most dominant religion (NSW, Victoria and Queensland) while for the rest of the country, No religion was the most dominant. Based on the trends over the last decade, it is likely that in the 2016 results NSW will remain the only state or territory where No religion is not the most common worldview.

Christian religion, total: 61%

When all of the Christian denominations are combined, the 2011 Census results record this at 61%, down from 64% in 2006.

Christian, not just spiritual, total: 44%

In our Faith and Belief in Australia study, which will be launched in May, the results show that when Australians are given the option of selecting “spiritual but not any main religion” (an option not available in the Census) the total Christianity numbers drop to 44%.

I consider myself a Christian, total: 38%

When the religious identity question is personalised to the statement “I consider myself a Christian”, 38% of Australians agree.

Regular churchgoer, total: 14.5%

Of Australians who identify their religion as Christianity, 22% attend church weekly, with an additional 11% attending fortnightly or monthly. Regular church attendees, defined as those who attend church at least once per month, comprise in total 14.5% of the adult population.

How many Australians will attend church this Easter?

It is reasonable to predict that most of the quarterly and annual churchgoers will attend church at some point over Easter, along with the regular churchgoers. In total, this is 50% of Australians identifying with the Christian religion- or 22% of all adults. Therefore, Easter church services nationally will see around 3.9 million adults in attendance.

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