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10th June 2021 | Education

Report shows 70% of secondary school students admit to future career fear

The report includes research from 1,000 secondary school students, 1,000 parents and 500 teachers around the UK

The Careers after Covid report published 11th May 2021 by Launch Your Career, has revealed that 70% of secondary school students do not know or are unsure about what they want to do for a career when they leave school. Three quarters of students (78%) admitted they are worried about making the right choice of career.

The report also reveals that nearly half of secondary school teachers (48%) say their school's ability to give careers advice to students has worsened since the start of the pandemic. One in five (19%) of secondary school students say they have not received any advice from their school since the first lockdown over a year ago.

Many students (47%) responding to the survey revealed that any advice they had been given had not been personalised to them.

The news comes as students are already coping with disruption to learning, exams and friendships as a result of the pandemic.

Furthermore, Covid-19 has hampered opportunities for work experience and one in four students (28%) revealed they had no practical experience of the working world, not even via a visiting speaker organised by their school.

David Chapman, vice principal of Aston University Engineering Academy (AUEA) said: "After a year of seeing businesses failing, people being furloughed and parents losing jobs, young people are more unsure than ever about their own career opportunities. We need to find new ways to engage them in their future work choices."

The turmoil brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has also impacted what students want to do after school, with more than half (54%) saying they have now changed their career ideas, making it even more important that they receive good advice to make the right choices.

David Chapman, vice principal of Aston University Engineering Academy (AUEA) said: "We have flipped the careers advice journey on its head and rather than asking 'what do you want to do?' we find out more about them as people. With a short personality quiz, we discover each student's strengths and then research careers they might find fulfilling based on their answers. This starts to open doors for them and helps a young person feel more positive about the future."

Chris Jeffries, CEO and founder of Dev Clever, the company behind Launch Your Career, said: "Just when good careers guidance is needed most, schools are finding it hard to give quality advice and work experience opportunities. The pressure of the pandemic means they are having to focus instead on plugging curriculum gaps. But young people also need to plan for the future to help them engage in the lessons they are being taught in class today.

"Schools need to look for simple ways to expose students to potential career choices that would suit their personality and engage and excite them in their future. And employers need to be more actively involved so students know what options are available to them once they leave education."

The research also revealed that three quarters (76%) of secondary school teachers agree students engage more with lessons when technology is used and 34% of students indicate technology could be used to explore career options.

Aston University Engineering Academy is using Launch Your Career's virtual reality experience to engage students in their career journey. David Chapman from AUEA said: "The virtual reality experience hooks our students into their personalised career journey. It uses gaming techniques they are very familiar with to grab their attention in a way that a normal careers lesson cannot.

"It opens up their eyes to why they come to school each day and shows how the subjects they are learning lead to a real career."

Other interesting findings from the report include:

  • 92% of parents have discussed potential career options with their child, however, a third (33%) do not feel equipped to give careers advice.
  • Nearly half (48%) of students want to see which careers would suit their interest and personality.

The Careers after Covid report contains advice and guidance for schools and parents. The free personality career quiz is available to all students.

Launch Your Career is an online and virtual reality experience for young people which provides careers guidance based on a student's personality. Students use the tool to find out what makes them tick – whether they are an introvert or extrovert, whether they like to plan or are more of a seat of your pants type. Their spirit animal is unlocked based on their answers and they can see careers highlighted that might interest them. 

Built on engagement, gamification and fun, Launch Your Career immerses young people in their career journey. With a VR headset, students are absorbed in a quest to find out about jobs that interest them, and what they need to do to secure them. It's the perfect tool to revitalise careers advice. 

Shaping Education Policy

The Institute of Government & Public Policy (IGPP) aims to be a leading influencer and informer in the ongoing public policy development and debate. Through ongoing engagement, our ethos is based on sharing knowledge and experience and bringing best practice to the fore to the benefit of the public policy making process and principles.

IGPP hosts conferences and training for the education sector throughout the year. From student mental health and wellbeing, to sustainability, research and innovation, our events focus on a diverse range of current topics within the sector, across primary, secondary, higher, and further education.

The Future of Innovation in Learning and Teaching in Schools 2021 will explore how teaching and learning in schools is being improved by innovation and technology. It will examine crucial issues such as improving technology infrastructure, promoting digital safety, developing digital capability and skills and supporting the procurement of education technology in schools.

Improving Education Facilities Management In Schools 2021 will give delegates the latest Government and policy updates together with a comprehensive range of case studies from schools and universities covering key topics of interest. These will include improving health and safety; accessing facilities management services; improving energy efficiency and reducing costs.

Enhancing Children and Young People's Mental Health will address the complex set of issues behind the increasing demand for mental health services for children and young people. We will hear from some of the UK’s leading experts on preventative care, management strategies, and treatment.

Browse IGPP's full range of live events, conferences and training courses for education professionals.

Article written by
Danielle Chapman

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