Young people concerned about their career prospects

New research from the Youth Commission, Edge Learner Forum and the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee, highlights the concerns that young people have about their future employment potential.

The report found that 65% of the 13-25 year olds who were questioned believe that their career options will be affected by their background.

This research further highlights the need for impartial, quality careers education and guidance.

Young people should be given the opportunity to explore every career option regardless of their background.

Often, a lack of awareness restricts young people to only consider careers that they have encountered or those which are suggested to them by a peer or adult. These suggestions may not be completely unbiased and are likely to be influenced by the knowledge and perception of the person suggesting them.

All young people deserve the right to investigate whether any career could be a good future option for them. Young people should be given the chance to judge whether a career is right for them or not by researching it themselves and comparing it to their own interests and aspirations. With the vast number of careers available, often the most effective way to do this is via technological-based resources which can provide access to information on thousands of options.

The research, which sought the opinion of 6,000 young people, also found that almost half felt that a lack of work experience restricted their career choices.

Work experience choices may be restricted to ‘what’s available’. While not every young person will be able to experience the job of their dreams, it’s important that the best ‘match’ possible is found in order engage a young person. For most young people, a work placement will be their first experience of the workplace and will leave them with a lasting impression which they will base future decisions on. A key way of getting young people on the best possible placement is breaking down their work interests. By doing this, even if their ideal placement isn’t available, it should still be possible for them to experience a job which has some elements of interest to them.

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