Know your tribe – the Gen Z apprentices

group of people sat round a table with laptops

Brands, here’s everything you need to know about Gen Z apprentices in Australia – including insights on their spending habits, income sources, and how these findings differ to university and sixth form students.

The number of apprentices in Australia is set to grow in the year ahead – thanks to government support that has helped encourage more companies to retain their apprenticeships, and recruit more in the future.

As a brand, it’s important to get to know this consumer group, and how their spending habits and purchasing power differs from other students. We’ve got you covered with our latest insights and learnings.

Apprentices – a quick explainer

First things first, what exactly is an apprentice?

Australian Apprenticeships are available to anyone of working age and offer opportunities for people to study and learn new skills, and be paid in over 500 different careers/jobs, all while earning a qualification. Apprenticeships can be completed full-time, part-time or while at school – which makes them a great avenue for young people entering the workforce.

Person working at their desk

As of 2018, there were 267,385 apprentices in Australia. 6.2% of all 15-to-19-year-olds (92,350) and 5.2% of 20-to-24-years-olds (91,147) were completing an apprenticeship or traineeship in 2018. 68% of apprentices fall within the age range of 15-24. 65% of these young people are training for a trade, 35% for a non-trade. At the moment, there are more male apprentices than female.

Income sources

Apprentices, of course, get a much higher percentage of their income from work than other students. They also get less of their income from their family, showing that they are more financially independent.

Pay rates for apprentices vary in different states, but in Western Australia for example, they earn $638.20 per week, increasing to $761.90 in their final year.

Our findings show that 61% of an apprentices monthly income typically comes from work, while just 18% comes from family, and 5% from scholarship. Apprentices are more likely than other students to have worked in customer service (31% have had a job in food service in the last year), manual labour, maintenance, care, factory/warehouse, and delivery/rideshare.

barista making a coffee

Spending habits

We’ve found that 36% of Gen Z apprentices browse online stores everyday – with 29% making a purchase online several times a month. In total, 83% of apprentices browse online stores at least once a week, and 87% shop online at least once a month. Interestingly, they typically do both activities more often than other students.

Apprentices spend a slightly larger percentage of their budget than other students on restaurants and takeaway, fashion, and rent and bills. Overall, we’ve learnt that 22% of their monthly spending goes towards rent and bills, while 15% goes towards groceries, 14% towards restaurant and takeaway, and 13% towards clothes, shoes and accessories.

Across all sectors, apprentices are more likely to shop online than other students. For fashion, 79% shop online and 71% shop in-store. 45% list affordable prices as their top priority when shopping in this sector – which means student incentives are likely to draw this consumer group in. For health and beauty, 73% shop in-store, compared to 67% who shop online. In terms of their top priorities when shopping in this sector, quality products just come above affordable prices. However, apprentices are overall more likely to value affordable prices more than anything else, compared to other students.

Looking to boost your engagement with Gen Z consumers? Contact our team today to discuss how you can kick start your student loyalty program with us.

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