Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Young target careers with few jobs

A survey suggests more than 15 per cent of youngsters are likely to be competing for just five per cent of jobs in the health professionals sector

Teenagers are in danger of pursuing careers in industries which are likely to have few jobs available in the future, research has suggested.

It reveals a mismatch between young people's ambitions and the future jobs market.

The study raises concerns that youngsters are not being given enough information about careers and the decisions they need to make as teenagers to compete for jobs in different industries.

The report - by the Education and Employment Taskforce, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, and b-live - surveyed around 11,000 young people, mainly aged 13 to 16, about their career ambitions, and compared this with the projected availability of jobs.

It found 21% of those aged 15 and 16 held ambitions to work in the culture, media and sport area, but only 2.4% of jobs in the UK economy are projected to be in this sector. More than 15% are likely to be competing for around 5% of jobs that are projected to be in the health professionals area, it adds.

At the other end of the scale, almost 10% of new and replacement jobs are expected to be in administrative professions, and a similar proportion of careers will be in the area of "corporate managers and directors", but very few youngsters want a job in these sectors.

More than a third of teenagers (36.3%) are interested in just 10 occupations, the report shows. These are teacher or lecturer, lawyer, accountant, actor, police officer, IT consultant, doctor, sportsman, armed forces or firefighter and psychologist.

Nick Chambers, director of the Education and Employers Taskforce, said: "As a country we are doing our young people a huge disservice if we don't give them enough information to allow then to make proper informed decisions about their futures.

"This reports highlights the massive information gap between what young people know about careers and opportunities open to them and the actual jobs that exist.

"Far too many young people are having to make vital and incredibly important decisions about their futures without enough access to good and reliable information."

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