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


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

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 

McCrindle Australian Small Business Champion Award Winner

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Australian Small Business Champion Award 

Over the weekend, we were honored to be announced as the winners of the 2017 Professional Services Small Business Award.

The Australian Small Business Champion Awards is a prestigious and comprehensive program that supports and recognises small businesses across Australia.

Offering a unique opportunity to highlight Australia's most outstanding small businesses, the awards seek to recognise the hard work that business owners contribute to the local community in generating employment for millions of Australians, as well as their contribution to the Australian economy.

Our Team Leader of Accounts, Geoff Brailey and his wife Krystol represented the McCrindle team at the black-tie gala dinner on Saturday 1st April 2017 at the Westin, where the winners were announced.

Industry award for our client, Filtered Media

We were also delighted to hear that our client Filtered Media recently won an industry award for the use of Insights in PR for the Dare to Dream Campaign we assisted with for the Financial Planning Association of Australia.

We were delighted to conduct this new research into Australia’s financial hopes and fears for the future. The visualised report, released in time for Financial Planning Week 2016, showed that one in two of us dream more about our future now than we did five years ago. View the full report here. 

About McCrindle

At McCrindle, we pride ourselves on the professional and innovative services that we provide to our clients. Our team is comprised of research and communications specialists who are innovative thinkers and solutions focused. As professionals in the fields of research, sociology, demography, communications, design and data visualisation, our team acts as an advisory to assist organisations in strategic planning, consumer insights, community engagement and effective communication.

We love what we do, and it was a privilege to be acknowledged as a finalist in the Australian Small Business Champion Awards alongside some other excellent businesses in Australia, and for our insights for Filtered Media to be recognised as well.

Click here to find out more about the research and communications based professional services we provide. If we can be of assistance in any of these areas, please get in touch with us at info@mccrindle.com.au.

Contiki Youth Evolution research

Thursday, March 30, 2017

We were delighted to partner with Contiki to conduct new research into the aspirations, behaviours and fears of young Australians (18-36 years of age). The Contiki 2017 Youth Evolution Report explores some of the key trends influencing their attitude and lifestyle.

Feeling left behind

There is a strong sentiment among young people, specifically those aged 18-21, that they are being left behind economically. Especially in an era of flat wages growth and huge increases in home and living costs. Two decades ago, the average Sydney house price was around six times the average annual full time income. Today this has skyrocketed to 14 times the average annual full time income.

Ten years ago, over a third (34%) of 18-34 year olds indicated they were saving for a home, while this has dropped to below a quarter (24%) today. A significant two in five (40%) 18-21 year olds fear they will never be able to own a home. “We think of younger generations as having a youthful idealism and optimism, but this research shows young adults are not feeling as positive”, says Mark McCrindle.

Financial fears

Over half (51%) of 18-21 year olds fear not being able to live out their dreams due to financial and time constraints and 42% already regret not saving enough.

“The students of today are going to be the most formally educated generation to date; it is predicted that one in two will obtain a university degree. However, so too will they have higher amounts of debt when they enter the workforce; in fact, they might be the first generation since the Great Depression who will end up economically worse than their parents,”. - Mark McCrindle

Travel is a priority

Despite financial constraints and complexities regarding an independent lifestyle, 76% of 18-21 year olds want to travel more. 

Although more than two thirds (69%) of this age group has the desire for financial freedom, just beyond this is their desire to travel and see the world (64%). 

Around a third are also willing to go into debt for travel (36% of 18-21, and 39% of 22-36 year olds).

Delaying traditional life markers

With a focus on lifestyle rather than just wealth accrual, the emerging generations are spending more time living at home. They are also delaying traditional benchmarks of adulthood such as buying their first home, marrying, or starting a family.

A third of Australians (32%) aged between 18-36 years old continue to live in the parental home. This is a mix of both those who have never moved out as well as those who have moved back in with their parents. This is often due to high costs of living; labelling them as the “boomerang generation”.

Even though they are happy to live with mum and dad, this generation is very aspirational, with two in five 18-21 year olds (41%) stating they would not be happy if they ended up in a similar financial situation and lifestyle as their parents (cf. 33% of 22-36 y/o).

More socially aware

Despite their daily struggles, young Aussies care about the world they live in and are more socially aware than previous generations. The research found that climate change (18-21: 26%), gender equality (15%) and racism (12%) are issues that are high on young millennials’ agenda. The report also revealed that almost one in five (18%) 18-21 year olds already regret not making more of a difference in the world (cf. 22-36: 12%; 37+: 10%).

Supply and demand; Australia as an ageing nation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

DEMAND: AUSTRALIA AS AN AGEING NATION

A CLEAR AGEING TRAJECTORY

Australia is experiencing a baby boom, with births exceeding 300,000 a year. 30 years ago, the over 65s made up just 11% of our population (one in nine persons). Today the over 65s make up 15% of our population (one in seven). Forecasts project that this cohort will make up 18% in 2027 (one in six). By 2047 one in five Australians (20%) will be aged over 65.

AGEING SOCIETY

Our median age is also increasing. Three decades ago the median age of an Australian was 31.3. Today it is 37.4 and in 2047 it is projected to be just under 40.

85+ POPULATION

The over 85s, where there is an even greater need for aged care services, are growing at a faster rate than the over 65s. In 1987 there were 133,448 Australians aged over 85. Today there are four times as many, and in 2047 there will 14 times as many.

INCREASED LONGEVITY

Not only are there more older people in our nation, but Australians are living longer than ever before. Life expectancy at birth in 1987 was 76.3, whereas today it is 81 for a male and 85 for a female. In 2047, it is projected to 89.9.

HEALTH ADVANCEMENTS ARE INCREASING LONGEVITY

The primary enabler of this increased longevity gain has been the health system rather than individual behaviour. Life expectancy increases will continue because of improved medical technologies, public health infrastructure and better public health measures. New and improved medical interventions will also contribute, as will the improved survivability rates of major illnesses and cancers.

A decade ago, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were the 6th largest causes of death in Australia. Today they are the 3rd leading causes of death with the number of deaths having more than doubled to 9,864. Over the same period of time, deaths due to the first and second causes of death (heart disease and brain disease) have been decreasing. If today’s current trend continues, by 2021 dementia and Alzheimer’s disease will be the leading cause of death in Australia.

EXPONENTIAL GROWTH OF CENTENARIANS WILL KEEP THE QUEEN BUSY

In 1952, the year that Queen Elizabeth II became sovereign, 40 letters of congratulations would need to have been written to Australians turning 100. This year, 2,925 Australians will turn 100 and in 10 years 5,401 will turn 100. In 30 years the number of congratulatory letters written to Australians turning 100 will increase to 25,938 in the year 2047.

SUPPLY: AUSTRALIA AS AN AGEING NATION

THE CHALLENGE OF SUPPLY

Not only is there an increasing demand on the services provided by the aged care sector with the growing number of over 85s, there is also a workforce supply challenge.

RATIO OF WORKERS TO RETIREES DECLINING

The ageing population will place greater demands for productivity on the labour force. In 1975 for every person of retirement age there were 7.1 people in the working age population. By 2015 there were just 4.5 people of working age for every individual of retirement age, and this is projected to decline to just 2.7 people of working age for every individual at retirement age by 2055.

IMPENDING RETIREMENTS

Because of the high median age of an employee in the aged care sector, half of the aged care workforce will be of retirement age in 15 years. There are 350,000 workers in the aged care sector (estimated in 2012), so this equates to an average of 11,667 retirements per year for the next 15 years. This averages to 972 farewell lunches per month!

If we are to keep the current ratio of aged care workers to people aged over 85 in our nation, we need to add 129,945 workers in the next 10 years. This equates to recruiting 1,083 new workers per month, in addition to replacing the 972 retiring staff per month.

That’s a total recruitment goal of 2,055 each month – adding nearly 25,000 individuals to Australia’s aged care workforce each year.

GET IN TOUCH

To find out more about McCrindle's expertise in the aged care industry, or how we can communicate these insights to your team, please get in touch.

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