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Careers advice, the perennial underachiever


Seventy-nine percent of 16-25s have gaps in their knowledge, or no knowledge at all about when and how to prepare for a future career; 67 percent of 16-25s say Government is failing at providing an effective careers advice framework in schools; 46 percent of 16-25s didn’t receive any careers advice before making important educational choices (A-levels or degree subjects); 39 percent of 16-25s who did receive careers advice, didn’t trust that it was relevant and up-to-date. Comment from Charlie Taylor, Founder and CEO of Debut.

A careers advice report published by Debut, the award-winning student and graduate careers app, has today revealed that more than three in every five people aged 16-25 in the UK (67 percent) think they have been failed by the government’s careers advice framework, with 46 percent of all respondents claiming to have not received any advice before making important educational choices such as A-levels and degrees, and almost a quarter (22 percent) claim their careers advice made them make the wrong career decisions.

The report, which is based on a study of 500 UK-based people aged 16-25, has revealed shocking findings around the shortfall in quality careers advice in schools, resulting in 79 percent of people aged 16-25 feeling unsure about what they should do, and when, to secure the best career for them. Out of those who claim to have received careers advice at school (54 percent), only 32 percent said the advice they received was helpful, and had positively impacted their education and career choices. A worrying 22 percent of those who received advice said it had made them make the wrong educational choices, which had negatively impacted their career.

Lack of trust and relevance
From the groups of students that did receive careers advice, 35 percent of them say they trusted that the careers advice they received at school was relevant and up-to-date, but 26 percent completely disagreed. 67 percent of all respondents said they think the government is failing at providing an effective careers advice framework in schools.

What needs to change?
The majority of 16-25s (76 percent) say they would have found it useful to speak to a recent graduate or someone in the early stages of their career, for careers advice. Taking into consideration that 92 percent of this age group agree that the concept of a career has changed since their parents’ generation, it is clear reforms are required.

Charlie Taylor, Founder and CEO of Debut comments on the issues the report has revealed: The reality around career evolution appears yet to be addressed by careers advice in the UK. Gone are the days when a career was for life – we asked 16-25-year olds how many job roles they expect to have – the most common answer was 3-4.

We know that well over half of 16-25s would not be happy staying in one job for their entire life (58 percent). “Career mobility is positive today, and the ability to transfer skills from one sector to another is incredibly important for innovation – there’s a lot of cross-sector pollination, and careers advice today disregards this.”

Open letter to Government
The report findings have triggered Debut Founder and CEO Charlie Taylor to send an open letter to the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, asking why the Government’s ‘comprehensive careers strategy’ as promised back in January 2017, is now almost a year late. The open letter also lists suggestions for positive change, based on the report findings. Debut’s latest careers advice report is part of ‘The Careers Conversation’– a series of guides, reports and information published throughout 2017-2018 that will assist the workforce of tomorrow to make a smooth transition from education into work.

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