Volunteering is the new career path
Young workers are depending on volunteering and internships to get paid work, often working several unpaid jobs before they score a paid one.
The set-up is a boon for arts organisations who draw on the unpaid labour for concerts, festivals and community events.
Recruiters look for practical experience rather than, or in addition to, education and students are increasingly expecting to have to work for nothing to get a foot in the door.
Alex Rixon-Booth, who runs a volunteer coordination service called I Need Helpers
for event management, says the service has experienced a rapid increase in the number of students wanting to volunteer.
"We think this is because they realise how important hands-on experience is for their careers and that they need to look outside of their schools to find it.
The organisations has a database of more than 500 event management students and has provided volunteers for more than 100 recent concerts and events.
"Luckily some industries cares more about experience than classroom knowledge, that’s how I started, but even finding volunteer opportunities without the help of committed teaching staff can be difficult."
Rixon-Booth said the organisation had seen a 19% increase in volunteers for the St Kilda Film Festival in comparison to the St Kilda Festival held just three months before.
With education costs rising and TAFE options shrinking volunteering a more affordable way to begin a career.
Human resources professional Tony Blake says volunteering "adds depth to a candidate’s resume and experience, and it gets noticed".
While many courses require a certain amount of experience in the industry to graduate the minimum requirement often isn’t enough to make a point of difference for recruiters – recruiters want to see additional experience.