Managing Expectations of the Z Generation

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Young people commencing a Bricklaying Apprenticeship today are likely to be on average older than they were ten to twenty years ago. On average, 40% of all Australian apprentices are over 24 years.

In bricklaying, there are many lifestages at which a person might learn about and decide on an apprenticeship. These include at the end of Year 10, 11 or 12 at school, switching from another apprenticeship, switching from other employment or being unemployed, being employed in bricklaying, immigrating and so on.

There is therefore, no easy description of what you might expect in the character of a new apprentice.

Meeting and interviewing the apprentice prospect will quickly help to build a profile of the candidate.

What to Expect of the Z Generation (the 90’s babies)

One key group of candidates for a Bricklaying Apprenticeship is, of course those moving through the school system in Years 10, 11 and 12.

These students are part of the Z generation, babies born from 1990 up to the present time.  The following points set out some key characteristics that set them apart from earlier generations of apprentices you may have employed.  In summary, the Z generation will be more aware of their responsibilities and conditions of employment in the Apprenticeship and they will have higher expectations of their employer as a partner in the successful completion of their Apprenticeship.

What sets them apart?

  •  They were born into the World Wide Web, rather than growing with it like previous generations.
  • They are highly connected, lifelong users of communications and media technologies like the internet, instant messaging, text messaging, MP3 Players, mobile phones, smart phones, touchscreens, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Tablets, E-readers, Facebook, Twitter, iTunes, Skype, flickr and so on.
  • Were born with mobile connection, making it normal to stay in touch at all times.
  • Are often already experts in their fields of interest due to the access and use of technology.
  • They tend to believe in the restoration of traditional family values, are more conservative, self-controlled, responsible and conformist.
  • Are more tolerant of other cultures through education and have a strong sense of their own cultural heritage.
  • Readily combine environmentalism and entrepreneurship, having been born in an era of higher awareness of the environment.
  • Will share thoughts and observations online on a variety of media, topics and products.
  • They are more aware of modern day challenges such as climate change.

In terms of lifestyle and interests and hobbies they have the same mix as earlier generations.