HR · 21 November 2018

Young people demand more career opportunities from businesses

young people
Friends, family and work experience were the key sources of career information for Generation Z

Young people in the UK have slammed schools, universities and businesses for failing to prepare them for the world of work.

A new CBI/Accenture/Hays survey found that half of those aged between 17 and 23 believe their education has held them back on entering employment with businesses also not giving enough support.

Just over half – 55% – said they had undertaken a work placement when at school or college with only a fifth receiving visits from businesses to their school.

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The CBI said young people “rightly expect” businesses to step up to support them in their career aspirations and that business success and supporting youngsters to meet their career aspirations were inextricably linked.

It said the earlier the interaction between business and students, whether work experience, internships or school visits, the more likely the individual has been prepared for work.

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Friends, family and work experience were the key sources of career information for Generation Z, but nearly a quarter said they did not know where to go for career advice.

“At best, social mobility is at a standstill in this country which is a challenge to Parliament, business and wider society,” said John Allan, CBI President.

“It’s disturbing to find that around half of young people feel their education has not prepared them for the world of work at a time of great economic uncertainty and technological change. Teachers, schools and colleges deserve better support and business must play its part.

“Businesses need to be part of the answer, supporting our schools, colleges and universities to help inform and inspire young people about the many opportunities out there.”

“Many already do so and the survey makes clear that young people value work experience, part-time work out of study and visits from businesses.”

The survey also found that the main obstacle to career progress was lack of opportunities in a geographical area and sector of interest, lower salary than expected and the lack of a clear route into work.

Outside of pay, work-life balance was the main factor when choosing a job.

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