CBI: 93% of young people are not getting the careers information they need - CBI
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93% of young people are not getting the careers information they need - CBI

Survey findings are a ‘damning indictment’ of standards in careers guidance

As over one million young people remain out of employment, education or training, the CBI and LifeSkills programme, have released survey results which underline the yawning gap between the career guidance essential to the future of our young people and what they are actually receiving.

The survey of 2000 14-25 year olds, conducted using the LifeSkills Youth Barometer created by Barclays, revealed that 93% felt they were not provided with all the information they need to make informed choices on their future career.

Around two-thirds of those surveyed had received guidance on more traditional routes, A Level choices (62%) and university (65%), but only a quarter (26%) had information on starting an apprenticeship and even fewer (17%) on what vocational qualifications might be available.

Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, said:

“The quality of careers advice in England’s schools remains in severe crisis. For 93 out of 100 young people to not feel in possession of the facts they need to make informed choices about their future is a damning indictment.

“These are some of the biggest decisions young people will ever have to take and they deserve reliable, relevant, inspirational and high-quality careers advice.

“It’s worrying when young people now have tough decisions to make in light of university fees and the growing range of high-quality vocational routes.”

Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills, Barclays said: "LifeSkills was set up to remove the barriers young people face in moving from school to work. The results of this research underline the challenge that still remains to ensure young people have access to the necessary skills and experience to help them make informed career choices."

The survey also revealed a split along gender lines with differences in the careers advice young men and women receive:

  • 30% of young men receive advice on starting an apprenticeship (only 23% of young women)
  • 65% of women receive guidance on A-Level choices and 69% on going to university, compared with 58% and 60% of men respectively.

Katja Hall added:

"The tendency to pigeon-hole girls into academic routes and boys into more vocational routes is unacceptable.

"The survey results clearly show that young people want information about the full range of options open to them – both academic and vocational.

“As part of this, Government should press ahead with the delivery of a high quality, rigorous vocational alternative to A-levels, using the prestigious A-level brand.

“Business has its part to play as the findings suggest a high level of interest from young people to engage with and spend time with employers to get ahead in their careers."

A third of young people choose vocational routes in the UK compared to over two-thirds in Germany and Austria – countries with a higher skills base and much lower levels of youth unemployment.

There was a wide range of views on what guidance young people would like. While less than 10% said they needed more support on making subject choices for GCSEs and A Levels, there was a clear need for advice that will help young people when they leave school:

  • 20% wanted more information about the different education pathways available (e.g. university, apprenticeships, vocational qualifications, employment)
  • 16% wanted more talks from employers
  • 14% wanted more information about work experience and internships and
  • 13% wanted more advice about the value and relevance of qualifications.

The CBI warned earlier in the year that careers advice in our schools and colleges was on life support.

21 November 2013

Note to Editors:

The survey was carried out across the UK and involved 2000 14-25 year olds.

About LifeSkills, created with Barclays

LifeSkills, created with Barclays, is an education programme that aims by 2015 to equip one million young people aged 11-19 with the skills they need for work and connect young people to work experience opportunities at Barclays and beyond. LifeSkills builds on the success of the Barclays Money Skills programme and the Barclays Apprenticeship Programme.

LifeSkills provides 11-19 year olds with access to resources in three key modules:

  • Work Skills including interview skills, CV writing and information on choosing a career.
  • People Skills including interpersonal skills, self-confidence, communication, self-awareness and personal presentation skills.
  • Money Skills providing financial know-how which included managing a budget, calculating percentages and understanding on how lending works.

The resources will be delivered in school by teachers, in branch at sessions organised by Barclays employees or accessed directly by young people at www.barclayslifeskills.com. Those schools who take part can access non-branded lesson plans and resources. Barclays is also offering the support of 38,000 volunteers over the three years who are available to come into schools to help deliver these lessons.

Once a student completes the LifeSkills modules, schools will be able to unlock the work experience matching portal. This will allow teachers to match pupils to local work experience opportunities from Barclays and like-minded businesses.

LifeSkills forms part of Barclays long-term commitment to improving the skills of the next generation to help them achieve a secure and successful future, alongside the already successful Barclays Money Skills and Apprenticeship Programmes.

For further information about LifeSkills visit www.barclayslifeskills.com

The CBI is the UK's leading business organisation, speaking for some 240,000 businesses that together employ around a third of the private sector workforce. With offices across the UK as well as representation in Brussels, Washington, Beijing and Delhi the CBI communicates the British business voice around the world.

Media Contact:

CBI Press Office on 020 7395 8239, or out of hours pager on 07623 977854, email: press.office@cbi.org.uk. Follow the CBI (@CBItweets) on Twitter

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