Why young Aussies are turning down jobs

1 month ago 31

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Max, 22, took a pay cut to move to his current job for one very specific reason - and employers have been warned to sit up and take notice.

Keen surfer Max Facer took a pay cut to move to his current job as he was unhappy with how his former employer was dealing with the terrifying threat of climate change.

The 22-year-old, who just completed a business degree, said the company he previously worked for only cared about profit and revenue, yet he is seeing the impact of climate change first-hand.

“I spend a lot of time outdoors and in the water. I have noticed that the quality of the water isn’t the same as it used to be and also throughout uni and school, corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability in business is a huge topic,” he told news.com.au.

“So when I was looking for a job I was looking for a company that is taking an initiative about their impact on the environment.”

While he was keen to work in the surfing industry, he was aware that it can be quite detrimental to the environment.

So in his initial interview for a role as a e-commerce assistant with surf manufacturer FCS Australia he quizzed them about their stance on environmental policies.

“I was pretty stoked to know they weren’t just conscious but super proactive about making a change,” he said.

“They have a 1 per cent for the ocean scheme where 1 per cent of total revenue goes to conservation charities and they have eco-friendly products made out of bio-resin, sugar cane and corn.

“And they have recently changed their packaging from plastic to cardboard and they told me in the interview it was on the cards and now they have done it.”

Mr Facer, who has been working at the company since April, said it also uses compostable postage bags for online orders and also sends surf accessories to kids in Haiti, Barbados, Jamaica and Bali.

“It’s pretty refreshing to work for a company that actually cares about the planet,” he said.

The Gen Z said his generation is “looking for more than a large salary” but want to see a company that is helping the environment.

“If I’m spending 40 hours contributing to a company, I find it a lot more fulfilling and rewarding if I know they are also contributing to a positive change,” he said.

“It’s not selfish to ask for quality employers that can prove they care about the environment.”

The Sydneysider added he was quite concerned about the impact of climate change.

“I’m worried because if big business keeps destroying the environment, at this rate there is not going to be much of a future,” he said.

“It’s a lot easier for major industries to become impact-free now instead of waiting until the damage is pretty much irreversible and it becomes a lot harder and more expensive to change. I’m pretty worried because something needs to happen soon.”

Climate warning to Aussie companies

In a warning sign for companies, new research found almost half of Australians – including 71 per cent of Gen Z and 52 per cent of Millennials – would refuse to work for a business that did not take action to address climate change.

It also found 84 per cent believe Aussie businesses should do more to reduce their emissions and carbon footprint.

The report from Elmo Software showed two-fifths of Australians believe hitting globally agreed emissions targets will have a positive impact on job security and a third of Australians believe it will even benefit the salaries of workers.

Danny Lessen, CEO at Elmo Software CEO, said Australians have sent a clear message to the business community that they need to do more to address climate change or risk waning support and even greater challenges recruiting new employees.

“In fact, nearly half of Australians refuse to work for businesses that won’t take action on climate change with Gen Z and Millennials most likely to avoid unsustainable businesses,” he said.

“Gen Z and Millennials will soon make up the vast majority of the workforce so it’s important to listen to their message that organisations need to put the effort in to be a sustainable and environmentally conscious business.

“In the midst of a nationwide skills shortage, the last thing a business should do is get potential employees off-side by not taking climate change seriously.”

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