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71% of 14-19 year olds need more advice on careers

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A survey has found that nearly 91% of secondary school kids are worried or anxious about their future career choices, and that over 71% of 14-19 year olds want more guidance at school.

The report, carried out by Studently.com, suggests that today’s secondary school students are not receiving the right support to make critical career decisions, causing more kids than ever before to become anxious about their futures and potential careers. Nearly 74% worry they will make the wrong decision and a very high 63% don’t think they will be good enough to do the job of their choice.

These statistics show that more help and support is needed for kids towards the end of their secondary school careers in applying for jobs, making CVs, getting experience and earning money. News careers service Studently.com has been created by former UCAS Head of Information and Advice Emerson Osmond, and aims to combat these issues head on.

The website, which launched today, will actively provide help and guidance to school children using visual, personality-based careers platform. As part of the study the team uncovered the biggest worries school children are experiencing, caused by lack of support and advice:

  • Making the wrong decision and not being about to change it: 74%
  • I won’t be good enough at the career I want to do: 63%
  • Not making enough money: 47%
  • Making a decision without the right information: 39%
  • Being forced into a decision I’m not sure about: 29%
  • My friends or family will disapprove: 18%
  • I will have to move away from home: 10%
The survey, carried out among 1,550 secondary school students, reveals 61% are anxious about their career choice and unprepared for the future. Over two-thirds (69%) feel they are being pressurised into making big decisions, with 38% specifically feeling pressure to follow in the family footsteps in terms of career choice.

The research supports the findings of an Ofsted report from 2013, which showed that three-quarters of schools are failing to provide adequate careers advice to students, despite being made responsible by the government for doing so in 2012.

“With schools ill-equipped to guide pupils through the complex process of choosing a suitable career or further education option, it’s not surprising that students are feeling anxious and confused about their future,” said Emerson Osmond, COO of Unii, the company behind Studently.com and former Head of Information and Advice at UCAS. “Studently.com aims to help allay teenagers’ concerns, opening their eyes to potential studies and careers, and connecting them with like-minded students around the country.”

Girls are more worried than boys about what they are going to do with their lives. Girls appear to lack confidence more about not being good enough for the job they want, while boys are more anxious about not earning enough money.

Commenting on the launch of Studently.com Dr Tessa Stone, CEO of education charity Brightside, said: “It’s vital that every young person in this country has the right support and information to fulfil their ambitions. Their future should not be dictated by the career and education choices of their parents, or restricted because over-burdened schools don’t have the specialist skills available to provide the impartial and up to date advice and guidance they need."

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