Today sees the launch of a new report looking into the careers aspirations of young people together with the realities of the labour market. Published by City & Guilds and supported by EMSI, Great Expectations: Teenagers’ Career Aspirations Versus the Reality of the UK Jobs Market lifts the lid on young people’s attitudes to their future careers and to current careers advice. One of the main focuses of the report is the clear mismatch between the types of industries and occupations young people would like to go into, against the demands and opportunities that actually exist for them in the labour market.
The report is based on a survey City & Guilds commissioned back in September, in which YouGov asked a total of 3,154 people aged 14-19 across the country a number of questions about their career aspirations and future hopes. These included:
- What they consider to be the most important factors when considering their future career
- Whether they feel they have the necessary information on how to pursue their future career
- What salary expectations they have
- Which industry areas they would consider working in once they finish studying
- Which job they hope to be working in in 10 years time
The results are both fascinating and eye-opening. According to City & Guilds’ press release:
The survey of over 3,000 14-19 year olds found young people were largely misinformed about how to secure their dream job with little understanding of the best routes to get there… Teenagers also had a low awareness of the range of jobs available when it came to choosing their dream career — two thirds of all the available jobs were entirely overlooked by respondents. City & Guilds worked with economic modellers EMSI to map responses against the available jobs now and in the future to show the mismatches between aspiration and reality and found that;
- 26% of respondents would like to work in professional, scientific and technical roles, whereas the proportion of people working in this sector is forecast to be 9% in 2022.
- 19% wanted to work in education, whereas just 8% of the population will be employed in this sector in 2022.
- 19% of respondents selected information and communication as their industry of choice, yet the proportion of people who will be working in this sector in 2022 is predicted to be just 4%.
- In contrast, just 3% opted to work in the wholesale and retail or motorcycle and motor vehicle repair sectors when 15% of all jobs will be available in these industries.
One of the major conclusions from the research is that young people just aren’t getting objective careers information. This is confirmed not only by the mismatches of aspirations to realities, but also by the attitudes of those surveyed to the careers guidance they are getting. Just 5% said that a careers advisor would help the most in getting a job they would be satisfied with, and only 14% said that the reason they had stated a certain career was because a careers advisor had recommended it.
According to Kirstie Donnelly MBE, Managing Director, City & Guilds:
“Today’s findings highlight a concerning mismatch between the aspirations of young people and the reality of the jobs market they will be entering. The findings of the research are concerning but not entirely unexpected. Young people are optimistic but often not prepared for the realities of the UK jobs market. Salary expectations are high, often career aspirations don’t match demand in the workplace and young people aren’t generally aware of what employers are looking for. They have great expectations now but their dreams are likely to be dashed if they carry on along their current trajectory.”
EMSI’s Managing Director, Andy Durman concurred, saying that we urgently need to get better information to young people:
“It’s clear from this research that a new model for careers advice in the UK is needed. Instead of focusing on a young person’s likes and dislikes and suggesting a suitable career match, we believe a better model would match young people and their skills to relevant careers that do actually exist in the local or national jobs market. Only by equipping careers advisors with up-to-date local labour market information can we hope to give young people realistic advice that may actually help them to get a job.”
You can download a copy of the report by clicking on the image above, or by clicking here.
To find out how our Career Coach and Find Your Career tools can help you put objective information into the hands of young people, email firstname.lastname@example.org