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A major new report reveals a disconnect between young people’s career aspirations and jobs in the UK (whether current vacancies or projected demand). The report is based on an international survey of over 8,500 people aged 14-18. There were over 7,000 responses from young people in the UK.

Findings include:

  • The sectors that young people aspire to work in differ greatly from the jobs available with a disconnect between aspiration and opportunity
  • Five times as many young people want to work in art, culture, entertainment and sport as there are jobs available
  • Aspirations are set early (as young as 7) and do not change enough over time to meet labour demand
  • Young people who benefit from careers activities have aspirations that are better connected to the labour market
  • Extending best practice could change the lives of 100,000 school leavers per year

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

We, at the Sussex Learning Network have long understood the importance of meaningful careers education and the impact this has on young people making informed decisions about their future. Through two programmes, Streets Ahead and Get Career Confident, we are supporting some 1000 learners with personal careers guidance as well as creating a suite of resources that use local LMI.

As part of our strategic work, we are engaged with the development of localised strategic education and skills developments. Through our collaborative partnership we provide a space and contribution to strategic thinking in areas of Further and Higher Education that are important to the region and its economic growth. You can find out more about the network here.