Research released to mark the start of Professions Week shows that parents and young people do not feel that they have access to useful careers advice and more needs to be done to help young people make informed choices into careers as a professional. The survey of 2,448 14-24 year olds and their parents shows that whilst there are high levels of awareness about different professional jobs, some young people have low aspirations due to lack of good quality careers advice offered to them and their parents. Only half (50%) of 14-24 year olds have had a careers conversation with a teacher or careers advice professional in the last year. Of those, only 79% found it useful – meaning that just 40% of young people received careers advice that they felt was useful within the last 12 months. While the majority of parents are happy to give their children careers advice (86%), of those that didn’t, the most common reason was that they didn’t know enough (60%).
Many who did give advice felt that the biggest challenge was that their children did not believe them or were not interested. As one surveyed mother said:
“The variety of jobs and career opportunities is so different these days with all the technology, I don’t know enough about all of the career options available, and don’t understand what a lot of the jobs entail.”
Sarah Hathaway, Chair of Professions Week – an initiative set up by 15 of the UK’s leading professional bodies including the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), ACCA, CIPD and CIPS – commented:
“This is the second year we have researched perceptions of professional careers and it shows that we must still do more to make sure that both young people and their parents receive better careers advice and guidance. Professional bodies can help by providing accurate information for careers advisors and online sources, however there is a need for a coordinating role between individual advisors, their schools and colleges, professional bodies and employers.”
Petra Wilton, Director of Strategy at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) – which is one of the bodies behind Professions Week – said:
“The professions offer fantastic opportunities for young people but we have to make sure that they and their parents better understand these exciting jobs. That means making employability a priority in education, so young people know what’s needed for a professional career and have the information they need to make the right choices about their studies. With the UK labour market needing a million new managers over the next five years alone, this research shows how important it is that we improve careers advice for young people.”
The research also showed that gender stereotypes might be stronger amongst parents than their children. Parents of girls were significantly more likely to say that their child would be likely to want to be a learning & development, or communications professional and less likely to note an interest in becoming an engineering or construction professional (the opposite of those with male children).
Full press release on www.managers.org.uk