Careers advice gap contributes to skills shortage

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While parents are still the main source of advice, 15 percent of 11-15 year-olds in the UK are now turning to the online resource for information on their futures.

YouTube is replacing careers advisers as a primary source of information about the world of work, according to new research commissioned by the careers advisory campaign Your Life.

The study reveals that, while parents are still the main source of advice, 15 percent of 11-15 year-olds in the UK are now turning to the online resource for information on their futures.

Edwina Dunn, chair of the Your Life campaign, which seeks to encourage young people to take Maths and Physics at A Level, said:

“By understanding what motivates young people’s enthusiasm and interest (and what turns them off) employers and recruiters will gain new insight so that they can adapt their strategies in order to attract the best future talent.

“They no longer want to be told what they should be doing with their lives by adults with out-of -date information about careers of old.  They want to know where doors are open, where the best and most rewarding jobs are and, what subjects they need to study for a fast-track career.”

More traditional sources of advice are becoming less popular, with just a third (32%) of young people seeking information about jobs from a careers adviser and 62 percent speaking to teachers about plans for the future – 12 percent less than three years ago.

In 2012, research by YouGov for education company Pearson found that 70 percent of 11-15 year-olds went to teachers for careers advice.

Ofsted have since found that three quarters of schools are not implementing their duty to provide impartial careers advice effectively and the CBI claim 80 percent of employers don’t believe schools deliver good enough careers advice.

To help fill the current void in careers advice, Your Life has launched a new YouTube channel to provide students, parents and teachers with up-to-date information and careers inspiration with a particular focus on maths and physics.

Recent figures from industry regulator Ofcom suggest that as many as eight in ten school children have used YouTube, with 11-15 year olds watching an average of 33 minutes of online film content every day.

Dunn added:

“Rather than out-of-date careers advice, we need to highlight exactly where jobs are plentiful and talent is missing.  20 years after the McKinsey report on ‘The War For Talent,’ we have reached an impasse where young people have the wrong skills for the thousands of jobs lying vacant.

“Schools and universities must be better aligned with industry so that students are encouraged to take subjects to develop the skills that businesses desperately need, not what league tables and targets dictate.”

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