Every generation brings some level of change to our civilization, but recently, we’ve become accustomed to a rate of change never seen before. The technological revolution and our new standards for communication are changing every aspect of our lives and, for the first time, we’re getting a glimpse of the data that suggests what the economy and the workers of tomorrow might look like.
Generation Z is made up of people who were born between 1990 and 2020. This demographic is just beginning to enter the workforce and in comparison with the rest of the workforce, the unemployment rate among Gen Z individuals aged 16 to 24 has been consistently over double that of the national average since 2007, the highest in decades. This, in addition to the high number of baby-boomers expected to retire in the coming years, has lead many building and trades industries to push the expansion of apprenticeship programs in order to pass down experiential skills in the industry.
So how are Gen Z workers making ends meet? A recent worldwide study conducted by Randstad, the second largest staffing firm in the world and Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm have shown that Gen Z individuals have a more entrepreneurial spirit than the Gen Y workforce population.
- The study found that 17% of Gen Z want to start their own business compared to only 11% of Gen Y individuals.
- Currently the number of freelancers is at an all time high, with over 53 million freelancers currently operating in the US.
- 69% of Freelancers have reported that technology is making it easier to find work and 42% said they’ve done work via the internet.
The push is on for the building and manufacturing industries, among others, to expand existing apprenticeship programs in the coming years.
With a large portion of the Gen Y workforce expected to retire in the next decade, a skills shortage is anticipated throughout many industries. To combat this, as much as $2 billion over the next 4 years may be invested into apprenticeship programs through a proposed “Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative” from the US government.