- 40% of young people in the UK plan to go to university, but data suggests that only 29% of jobs require a higher level of skill
- Girls are more likely (47%) than boys (31%) to consider going to college after leaving school, putting their future at risk
- City & Guilds calls for improved career counseling and guidance so that young people and those who influence them are better informed of the range of options available
Ahead of A-Level results day, new research from skills organization City & Guilds finds more young people (40%) are going to college compared to the same time last year (35%) . But there is a strong gender divide – almost half (47%) of girls aged 17-19 plan to go to university, compared to less than a third (31%) of boys.
Girls are also more concerned about future earnings, with more than half (54%) making their after-school choices based on what they think is the best way to get a good job, according to the results. a good salary, compared to only 44% of boys.
However, Lightcast’s labor market analysis suggests that only 29% of jobs in the UK typically require a university level qualification. This means that young people could go into debt unnecessarily without following a clear trajectory. As young people base their education choices on perceived rather than actual career prospects, City & Guilds urges schools to provide sound career advice based on current labor market insights to ensure young people , parents and teachers are aware of the full range of career options available.
The research also reveals that there is a clear difference between the influences that influence young people’s decisions about their career choices. While girls are more likely to be influenced by their family (42% vs. 23% of boys), boys are nearly twice as likely as girls to say their choice is based on what they saw on TV or on social media.
David Phillips, Managing Director of City & Guilds, said:
“It’s crucial that young men and women have access to solid, up-to-date career advice that paints a true picture of today’s job market and challenges outdated gender stereotypes about careers. This will ensure that school leavers know what is most likely to lead to a good job when making choices about their future. We have seen in our research that both boys and girls are strongly influenced by those in their networks, so it is essential that parents and teachers are made aware of the extent of education and training pathways, apart from traditional academic skills, which can lead to rewarding, well-paying jobs.
City & Guilds research also reveals the impact of rising costs on young people’s decisions. More than half (56%) of 17-19 year olds surveyed say the rising cost of living has caused them to reconsider what kind of career they could pursue after leaving school or university. 67% say they think about salary more when considering potential careers, while a further 60% now plan to stay in school full-time longer to help them secure better-paying jobs in the future.
David continued: “It’s reassuring to see that young people are already thinking about the career choices available to them. However, as the UK battles a volatile labor market, with a potential recession on the horizon and a cost of living crisis ahead of this year’s results day, it is more important than ever that young people make informed decisions about their future.
“While college is the right path for some, it’s certainly not the only option. Our recent great jobs research has shed light on essential jobs which account for 50% of all employment opportunities in the UK – many of which rely on vocational pathways such as internships, apprenticeships and T-levels. As young people look to investing in their future, we encourage them to consider the full range of options available so they can identify the path that is right for them.
City & Guilds encourages young people to consider the wide range of different education options available after leaving school. These can lead to important and fulfilling jobs and careers that are often overlooked by the people who would thrive there. Parents, teachers and students can find out more about career and technical education pathways on the City & Guilds website: www.cityandguilds.com
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