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Many young people believe that they will struggle to find work

 March 04, 2014

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Research highlights the difficulties that school leavers face when trying to find a job. Six-in-10 school pupils believe it will be difficult to find work and more than a third predict they will need to settle for a job that's not their first choice.

Confidence in the recovering UK economy has not filtered down to school pupils, according to new research from AIA Worldwide. Almost six-in-10 (58%) under 18-year-olds believe it will be difficult to find work when they leave school, while more than a third (35%) already predict that they will need to settle for a job that is not their first choice.

The study highlights the misconceptions among school age pupils about the world of work, notably that almost a fifth (18%) of respondents believe that apprenticeships are unpaid work. The notion that getting a good job relies on having a degree also persists, with more than three-quarters (77%) of pupils saying that having a degree will give them a stronger chance of getting a job in their chosen field. This is despite a 24% rise in apprenticeship vacancies in the third quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012[2].

Britain’s younger generation are willing to do what it takes to find work, the research finds, with almost two thirds (65%) saying they would consider moving away from home to find a job or apprenticeship after school and nearly a third (32%) saying that ‘getting a job is easy if you try hard enough’.

When asked about sources of advice for career choices, parents still play an important role in steering their offspring in the right direction. Almost a third (30%) of school pupils said they would like to receive information about jobs or work experience from their parents and 53% would be heavily influenced by their parents on whether to choose university or work after school. Teachers were the second most influential (12%) followed by careers advisors (11%), companies pupils have met (6%) and friends (5%).

Alex Parkes, Future Talent Strategist, AIA Worldwide commented on the research: “It’s concerning that so many young people believe that they will struggle to find work, or will need to settle for their second choice career. The message needs to get through to under 18-year-olds that there are now many different ways to enter their chosen field of work or industry sector, including apprenticeships and work experience.”

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