Move over Millennials, Gen Z are the new kids in town and they are more diverse and even more tech-native. And, critically for employers, they will work differently and have different skills.
“It’s all about the next generation,” confirms Gareth Lewis, Senior Manager in Group Treasury at ANZ. “If you think about the way the world of work is changing, we want our next generation of employees to be flexible enough to take advantage of that.”
If you were born between 1981 and 1996 you’re considered a Millennial according to The Pew Research Center but from 1997 onward (ages 7 to 22 in 2019), you’re part of the new generational cohort dubbed ‘Generation Z’.
Gen Z is shaping up to be the most racially and ethnically diverse adult generation in history. Technologically, they are growing up in an “always on” environment where the way people communicate and interact is vastly different from the generations before them.
For Gen Z, growing up in the age of the digital revolution, things like social media, constant connectivity and on-demand communication are all an assumed part of life.
Gen Zers are living in, and best placed to take advantage of, the aptly named Third Industrial Revolution which is fundamentally changing the nature of work through the rise of the gig economy, the automation and digitisation of work, the availability of information and the ease of working across geographies.
Investing in the next generation
Gareth says ANZ is striving to have people think about the world of work “more laterally”.
For the bank, a key initiative is a program called Work Inspiration – the initiative is business-led and provides young people with opportunities to experience the world of work first hand in a meaningful and inspiring way.
The program, run by Australia’s largest children’s educational charity, The Smith Family, provides opportunities for students to visit workplaces and learn about career opportunities and pathways.
It offers insight and opportunities to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who may be struggling at school, or who lack the motivation and encouragement to explore their future career options. “Work Inspiration is great to plant the seed,” explains Gillian Lambie, Relationship Manager from The Smith Family.
“We know that youth unemployment and underemployment in Australia is an issue – especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This program gives students exposure to what the world of work looks like,” she says.