Teenagers are entering the workforce one year earlier than their parents but many lack skills and confidence to effectively navigate the life-changing milestone.
This is according to the Westpac First Job Report, which found Australian teens are landing their first job at an average age of 15.4 years, compared to 16.3 years for their parents.
While seven out of 10 young people surveyed prioritised money and financial independence when looking for their first job, more than two thirds lacked the confidence to open a bank account to be paid into.
Job administration, such as setting up a tax file number and superannuation, was another area where teens (57 per cent) felt unsure and almost half (44 per cent) were too afraid to ask in an interview how much a job paid.
To provide guidance to young job seekers, Westpac launched Wendy, Australia’s first digital job coach.
Using Wendy is similar to conducting a FaceTime call as she can listen, speak and recognise human emotions in real-time.
Wendy was born after similar artificial intelligence was used at last year’s Vogue Codes – News Corp’s Vogue Australia and Westpac initiative to deliver a series of events aimed at empowering women to pursue careers in the tech industry.
Westpac Consumer Division chief information officer Anastasia Cammaroto said Wendy could help young Australians navigate the processes of starting a new job by addressing a range of questions from what to write on a resume to how prepare for an interview.
“Our research shows that seeking and starting a new job can be both an exciting and nerve-racking experience, particularly as teenagers gain more financial independence for the first time,” Ms. Cammaroto said.
“The development of Wendy goes beyond banking and we’re excited to see the potential of this technology over time. We have already had a great response to our initial trials, with the most popular questions for Wendy focusing on what to wear to an interview and how to write a CV.”
Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann said “through Vogue Codes, we have learned about the huge potential of artificial intelligence to change all our lives”.
“I admire Westpac’s use of this cutting edge technology to give young people the resources they need at the very beginning of their careers. Our teenagers have more career pathways than ever before, with technology opening up new fields all the time. I welcome any tools which will help young people navigate these opportunities and take their first professional steps.”
Need help landing your first job? Meet Wendy here.