Eighty-four percent of young people not pursuing their passions

11 August 2016 | News | Guest Author


School Leavers Infographic

  • Music, Fashion & tech has hearts but not careers
  • Admin & accounting branded ‘old fashioned’ & ‘boring’
  • Plea for help from young people seeking more support guidance to achieve career dreams
  • The majority of 16-24 year olds don't see Uni as the only route to dream career

As GCSE and A-Level results come out and thousands of young people make decisions on their futures, the UK’s leading independent training provider releases statistics which show a huge mismatch in career dreams and career choices, with many risking missing their true calling after leaving school.

With 84% of 16-24 year olds revealing that they don’t know how to turn the interests they’re passionate about into a career, and 49% of these respondents considering that their lack of qualifications halts them exploring aspirational career opportunities, the next generation of employees are at risk of career dissatisfaction after entering the job market, according to Pitman Train-ing and Censuswide’s research.

A gap in support has also been revealed as 4 in 5 (80%) young Brits agree they wish they knew more about options available to them on leaving school and a desire for guidance is apparent, with almost 9 in 10 (88%) young Brits agreeing that with the right guidance they would be able to achieve their career dreams and the majority agreeing that Uni is not the only route to a dream career.

Young people are also against more ‘traditional’ jobs such as admin or accounts, that could be a door opener to their dream career. Nearly 3 in 5 (58%) young Brits (aged 16-24) are in agreement with the stereotype that working in admin or accounts is ‘boring’ and ‘old fashioned’. Retail is considered an easy way of entering employment, with almost 4 in 5 (79%) of young Brits (aged 16-24) agreeing on this.

The top interests respondents aged 16-24 are passionate about include music, fashion, and technology, yet they believed that they wouldn’t be able to pursue a career in these sectors.

84% of 16-24 year olds with interests they’re passionate about did not feel able to pursue a career in these interests, broken down as follows:-

  • Music: Nearly half (49%) of 16-24 year olds identified music, with Yorkshire being the most musical region across all ages
  • Fashion: Over a third (35%) of 16-24 year olds identified fashion with Cardiff being the most Fashion focused city across all ages
  • Tech: A quarter (25%) of 16-24 year olds and over a quarter (27%) of 25-24 year olds had a passion for tech, with the North East being the most passionate about Tech (27%) across all ages
  • Drama: A quarter (25%) of 16-24 year olds identified Drama, with Cardiff being the most passionate rating above average at 30% across all ages
  • Sport: A fifth (21%) of 16-24 year olds identified Sport
  • Celebrities: 14% of 16-24 year olds identified working with celebrities

In response to these findings revealed by Pitman Training, a new online resource launches this week as part of Pitman Training’s ‘U Know’ campaign, which sets out to provide confidence and insight to young people, to help them find their true career destiny. Bringing together industry experts and young people’s stories at www.pitman-training.co.uk/advice-centre/not-going-to-uni the site provides a free online tool and resource to help discover how personality and passions can be channelled into careers, along with a whole host of free advice and guidance. It also sees ex-Pitman student Nicola Penny, who works as an Assistant to Editors at This Morning and Loose Women at ITV, alongside Katie McEwan FEPAA - Executive Support Manager to Jacqueline Gold CBE at Ann Summers, share insights into their job roles, in a bid to challenge the stereotype that working in admin is ‘old fashioned’ and ‘boring’.

Claire Lister, M.D of Pitman Training said: ““Wow……….” was my initial reaction to all the stats we got back from this research, which are heart-breaking and inspiring at the same time. We cannot sit back and watch this huge proportion of young people entering into jobs they don’t really buy into, because they’ve given up hope on doing what they actually love. So there’s a love of music, why not work to become a PA within a record label or a web designer specialising in sites for musicians? So they might not be on stage themselves, but will get to live the buzz of it all, right? You’d love to work in fashion but are no designer - an EA to a CEO of a leading retail brand brings with it an immersion into the fashion world, and opportunities to have a starring role, right? Many of our training courses can open doors to help people work in the industries they really want, if they are focused on progression. PA, web design and accountancy courses in particular can open up a huge variety of doors into interesting careers”.

She added: “The idea behind the new online resource is this is that deep down we all know what we are good at, and would love to do with our talent - the problem is that the majority of us don’t believe in ourselves, don’t listen to our instincts and don’t know where to start, so our dreams, remain dreams. Whether this relates to wanting to work in a global organisation, be a successful internet sensation or become the Director of business, creating career progression requires a strategic approach. If at school age young people fall into jobs, or further training that is a ‘filler’ rather than a vocation, they really risk not achieving their true potential. We are passionate about trying to help people tap into their true calling and provide practical steps that can see people achieve aspirational work lives.“

Hattie Wrixon, co-founder of www.unisnotforme.com, which she set up when she was 17 said of the research findings: “When it comes to leaving school, it’s important that young people see no stigma in exploring alternatives to university, and are fully supported on their journey. To work in an area you love should not be so out of reach - in fact that should be the starting point when exploring career paths. I found it terrifying to read of such high statistics of people who don’t feel they can follow their dreams.” Further findings from the research undertaken by Pitman Training and Censuswide found that that:-

  • 37% of 16-24 year olds with interests they’re passionate about stated they don’t have the con-fidence to turn their passions into careers
  • Fear of failure halts 35% of 16-24 year olds with interests they’re passionate about from pursu-ing their interests as their career, compared to 21% of 35-44 year olds
  • Only 8% of 16-24 year olds with interests they’re passionate about cited their parents approval as a barrier to pursuing their interests as their career
  • 52% of 16-24 year olds disagreed that University was the only way to a dream career, com-pared to 66% of 45-54 year olds
  • 52% of 16-24 year olds agree that they feel like they’ve outgrown education

Pitman Training Pitman Training has been synonymous with office based training since Sir Isaac Pitman invented shorthand in 1837, and the company now helps thousands of students each year progress their careers through tailor-made study programmes and Diplomas with one to one support at over 100 local centres, as well as via online courses, and short seminars to help top up skills. For more information see www.pitman-training.com

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