AAT: Careers advice lacking for 2018 secondary graduates

AAT: Careers advice lacking for 2018 secondary graduates

One in two students who are leaving secondary education in 2018 have said that they do not receive enough careers advice, according to a new survey from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

AAT spoke with more than 1,000 17- to 18-year-olds who intend to leave school after completing their A-levels in the summer, ahead of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) deadline for university applications on 15 January.

The survey revealed that university was the destination that they had the most knowledge of, with twice as many school leavers (72%) telling AAT they were aware of UCAS compared to the National Apprenticeship Service (36%).

Only half (50%) had heard of the information provided by the National Careers Service.

The availability of careers advisers within schools and colleges also seems to be scarce, according to AAT.

Only 43% of school leavers said they receive careers information and guidance from a careers adviser at their school or college, something the skills minister Anne Milton is keen to tackle this year, pledging £4 million to ensuring every school has a dedicated careers leader by the start of the 2018-19 academic year.

Suzie Webb, director of education and development at AAT, said: “Deciding the first step to take after leaving school can, for many, feel critical towards determining their eventual career.”

“However, our research suggests that information and advice is somewhat lacking, and arguably biased towards the university route.”

“While continued academia will prove the right choice for many school leavers, there is certainly more that can be done to ensure they are presented with all the options available.”

Webb added: “An integrated online portal, bringing together the UCAS, National Apprenticeship Service and other non-academic websites under one managed service could be a great start to ensure equal coverage of all routes to employment.”

AAT also asked school leavers what they felt the best route would be for getting into a variety of careers.

Apprenticeships were first and foremost useful for blue-collar careers, such as plumbing (64%), construction (57%) and manufacturing (46%). In contrast, a university degree route was most favoured by students for professions such as law (81%), finance (67%) and the media (38%).

Webb added: “Apprenticeships are available to people of all ages, and can give people the ability to get ahead in a new career.”

“They cover a wide variety of industries, not just traditional blue-collar professions, and new trailblazer apprenticeship pathways introduced in 2016 are further adding to the high quality of apprenticeships available.”

“Holding an apprenticeship qualification provides transferable skills that benefits employees and employers alike, as well as providing access to an individual’s career of choice.”



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