New research published today (15th November) to coincide with Skills London, the UK’s largest careers fair for 15-24 year olds, says that young people are not planning to take the same path as their parents because their jobs are too boring (46%) and do not pay enough money (33%).

The survey of nearly 1,000 young Londoners aged 15-18 found that when deciding their future path into work, young people took advice from traditional sources – parents (70%), school (68%), careers websites (40%), friends (30%) – but also social media (19%) and celebrities (8%). Almost half (47%) had no direct experience of the world of work.            

When asked about their future, almost 8 in 10 (79%) said it was important to them to be able to work or live in a European country in the future.

Although university was the next step most commonly discussed with their school or college (86%), apprenticeships were not far behind (67%). Far fewer had been told about vocational qualifications (27%) or direct entry to work (19%).

For those who could not see a clear path between where they are now and the work they would like to do in the future (41%), not knowing anyone who works in the area that they could talk to was cited as the biggest barrier (27%).

Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive of business lobby group London First, said:

“It’s important that young people get as much exposure to as wide a variety of careers as possible. University is an important route, but businesses and employers can do much more to build the esteem around other, non-academic options and to showcase the range of choices out there.

“Firms face a chronic skills shortage in this country, and it is vital that we get the pupils of today ready for the workforce of tomorrow. Events like Skills London, with tens of thousands of opportunities available, are a fantastic way to showcase the multiple avenues that school leavers can explore.”

At Skills London, there are over 50,000 live job vacancies across every industry imaginable, giving kids the ability to spark their future and find a career path they may not otherwise have been aware of.

London First, in partnership with Prospects Events, surveyed 949 pupils across London in Years 11-13, online and in paper format. The fieldwork period was September 30 – November 4.


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