The aspirations of young people in the UK are poles apart from the reality of the labour market, with significant implications for the economy, a new report reveals today.

Based on a survey of 7,000 young people aged 14-18, the report, ‘Disconnected; Career aspirations and jobs in the UK’ by Education and Employers, shows a three-fold disconnect or worse between aspirations and demand in almost half of sectors, meaning far too many young people are destined for disappointment.

One of its major findings was that
Five times as many young people want to work in art, culture, entertainment and sport as there are jobs available.

The report makes the case for significant expansion of career-related learning in primary schools, more support for careers guidance in secondary schools, better labour market information for young people and better use of that information, as well as more help for parents and more engagement by employers.

“Improved career support in secondary schools and the expansion of career-related learning in primary schools can drive considerable economic benefits via reduced skills shortages and better alignment,” explains Nick Chambers, report co-author and Education and Employers CEO.

“There is also a positive relationship between young people’s engagement with the world of work and their GCSE attainment. Young people with links to employers are likely to earn more and are less likely to be NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), while career-related learning in primary schools can both enthuse children about learning and tackle ingrained stereotypes that narrow aspirations.”


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