The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released figures of enormous concern to 15 to 24 year-olds. This demographic has an unemployment rate of 13.1 per cent – greater than double the national workforce rate of 6.3 per cent.

Much research has gone into examining why this demographic should be so neglected in the job market. Ivan Nevill, manager of the Labour Research Analysis Branch, believes the igeneration, while having unparalleled tech skills, lacks the soft skills needed to impress employers.

Communication, teamwork, motivation, reliability and presentation – soft skills that are all but neglected at schools – are important to hirers. They need to know that applicants not only can do the job they are applying for, but that they can work with others and be relied upon.

Tech skills and experience can be gained on the job. But attitude is part of the applicant.

“I can’t stress enough the soft skills element of getting a job,” said Mr Neville.

“It’s not just about young people – it’s all ages, all industries, all aoccupations, all skill levels.”

Many kids are leaving school only semi-literate and all but innumerate. Compounding this, the increasing amount of time young people spend in the virtual rather than real world is limiting the development of their face-to-face skills.

And face-to-face skills are what they need to get and keep a job.

“In many businesses the person is representing the company,” continued Mr Neville, “so communication skills and presentation is vital.

“In other jobs, employers are looking more for reliability and motivation.”

Employers are spending less and less time looking at resumes and more and more time evaluating the person across the desk from them. How they look, how they respond, how they act are vital elements in being a successful applicant.

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