As the Office for National Statistics releases its latest batch of unemployment figures, a new report published today reveals that far too many young people are ill informed about their career options.
The unemployment rate for those aged from 16 to 24 stands at 21.9 per cent as one in five young people are still unemployed, yet the advice needed to kick start a career is unavailable. New joint research from the Financial Skills Partnership and Career Academies UK, based on a survey of 17 and 18 year old Career Academies UK students, shows that many young people hold views about careers and how to progress which are simply not based on evidence.
According to the report, entitled Routes to Success, young people lack awareness of their options, including a misunderstanding of university fees, apprenticeships and school leaver programmes and that many young people are making poorly informed choices which may affect their future career options and the talent pipeline for many industries. The report calls on Government, educators and employers to take concrete steps to address these issues and suggest that they need to have a single coherent message on progression routes.
Official unemployment figures released last month by the Office for National Statistics show there was a slight decline in the number of people out of work. However, there are still too many young people, from school leavers to graduates, unemployed and searching for a job or training. The figures show unemployment falling by 0.2 on the quarter to 2.61 million, youth unemployment remains a worry as 1.01 million 16 to 24 year olds are unemployed.
Liz Field, CEO of the Financial Skills Partnership, said, “Young people are making poorly informed choices, which may affect their future career options and the talent pipeline for many industries. The research shows that many young people know far too little about their potential career options, and that employers, educators and the government could all do more to help. We need to equip young people with the knowledge and skills to take responsibility for their own career planning and progression, if they are to be the professionals of tomorrow, able to lead us out of recession and into growth and renewal.”
After the report is published on Wednesday, it will be officially launched at the Career Academies UK National Conference on 21 June.
James McCreary, CEO of Career Academies UK, said, “Having gained a snapshot of young people’s views, FSP and Career Academies UK will be pleased to discuss its implications with all interested organisations. Educators and advisors need to become more fully aware themselves of the full range of routes for young people, so as to give genuinely impartial advice and guidance. Employers need to communicate that work experience and internships offer genuine and meaningful opportunities to young people, as well as communicating, and ensuring, that apprenticeships and school leaver programmes provide potential for progression.”
Key findings from the report:
■ A greater number of students were seriously considering University as their preferred route than the number who strongly agreed that they knew a lot about it. This was particularly the case in London
■ Young people believed they had a high level of awareness of apprenticeships, but further questioning revealed their knowledge was inaccurate and shallow
■ Young people were unsure of the status of school leaver programmes and how to find these opportunities
■ Work experience was viewed as essential but outside of the formal Career Academies internship programme, their experience of placements was poor
■ Young people were ambitious and understood the value of employability skills and real work experience