Concerns about prospects in the post-pandemic job market are driving more young people to stay in education and training despite talent shortages across a range of sectors.
Research from City & Guilds found that 40% of 17-19-year-olds in the last two years of school plan to go to university and 20% now want to stay in full time education for longer than they originally intended. This compares to 13% who say the same for apprenticeships, and 22% who plan to go straight into employment.
While 44% of school leavers choosing university consider this to be the best way to get a job, and 39% believe they will get paid well if they have a degree, recent research from Incomes Data Research found that both a graduate and a fully qualified degree-level apprentice could expect to earn the same salary upon completion of their qualification (£32,500).
Data from the ONS indicates that 37% of all graduates are unable to land graduate level jobs and data from City & Guilds Group’s Skills Index report (supported by the British Chambers of Commerce) suggests that only 18% of employers intend to recruit graduates to fill skills gaps in the next 12 months as businesses prioritise new recruits who are work-ready.
C&G’s report also found that employers are twice as likely to take on apprentices or trainees to fill skills gaps (36%), as opposed to graduates (18%).
“For many young people, the idea of university being the golden ticket to a great career is ingrained from an early age,” said Kirstie Donnelly, CEO of City & Guilds. “But as the jobs landscape continues to reel from the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit, it’s more important than ever before to understand that this isn’t the only option available to them.
“Ahead of results day, it’s important that young people understand the full range of options available to them and which types of jobs are likely to be available when they finish their studies. As part of this, we need to ensure that young people have access to robust and up to date careers advice that considers the genuine needs of the local labour market so they can make smarter choices about their career paths.”
Research of 1,001 UK students aged 16-22 commissioned by FutureLearn in July found that 41% of young people are worried their exam results will have a lasting impact on their ability to get a job in the future; and 31% are worried bad exam results will impact their chances of earning enough money in the future.
It also found that 41% are worried they would not be able to get into university and 25% that they would not be able to get a job if their grades were not as they had hoped.
The research indicates that home life, not just school life, is affecting young people’s confidence levels with pressure from parents compounding a need to be seen as achieving by peers and virtual networks. Self-love is a top concern with 72% believing they would be disappointing themselves.
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