What Influences A Young Person’s Choice Of Career?
Is it money and success? Parents and teachers? Does their favourite hobby steer them towards a certain career?
AMB UK carried out some research on 2000 British parents of children aged 11-16, and 2000 young people aged 11-16 to find out who or what influences a young person’s career path. They’re ‘determined to change the face of technical careers in the UK and inspire a new and enthusiastic generation of young talent‘.
Did you know that just under 70% of young people don’t understand what an apprenticeship is? Even when they’re at the vital age where they need to be making decisions about the direction they will take their career. This group all felt that their career started with University. Who or what has influenced them to feel this way?
When the young people were asked what influences their career decisions, there were 5 answers:
- Teachers and school (41%)
- Mum (39%)
- The lessons they enjoy (31%)
- Dad (25%)
- Friends (14%)
Even though the young people have these influences in their lives, the top motivations that the people agreed on that makes them want to work hard at schools were:
- They enjoy doing well (46%)
- They’re thinking about the job they’ll have when they’re older (45%)
- Trying to please their parents and teachers (27%)
- Earning lots of money (26%)
- Their parents make them (14%)
Why Don’t Parents Want Their Child To Do An Apprenticeship?
In the UK alone, 36% of parents don’t know what an Apprenticeship is. The parents that do know what an Apprenticeship is (only 14%!) think it is a good route for their child to go down. However, 42% of the 2000 parents felt that it would be better for their child to attend University, despite the fact it would put them in long-term debt. This could be a major reason that UK PLC has such a skills shortage.
- 43% said Apprenticeships are poorly paid
- 37% said Apprenticeships are the last resort for those who fail their exams
- 17% said an Apprenticeship won’t lead to a successful career
These are the thoughts that ABM are trying to change. Jason Pease, Technical Solutions Managing Director at ABM said:
We need to ensure that apprenticeships are profiled alongside university as a credible pathway to fulfilling and lucrative careers. We also need to ensure parents and young people are fully informed of the options available to them with a long-term view of creating a pipeline of fantastic talent for the industry.
So What Does All Of This Mean?
Well, it means that young people are relying a lot on their parents and teachers for the encouragement on where to go next. Whilst this is definitely a good thing, as parents and teachers are great to turn to for advice, it’s quite clear that young people aren’t getting encouraged to look at all the routes. Instead, they’re being pushed towards University, because either they or their influencers lack knowledge on other paths.
Perhaps employers should think about targeting teachers and parents when they want to raise awareness of their company and show the opportunities their company has for school leavers.
Going to University doesn’t guarantee a successful career – neither does getting an Apprenticeship. Ultimately, the success of a person is all down to the opportunities they chase and their commitment to success. It doesn’t come easy. On the whole, the important thing to know is that both routes are great for different people for different reasons, and can both have really successful outcomes.
The full report by ABM is available to read now!