Everyone gives you advice as a kid, especially on what to be when you grow up.
'Try science, as you're inquisitive.' 'Go into law, because you never seem to lose an argument.'
I'm guessing no one said you'd be great as a purchasing manager or taxation expert. And that's why careers advice needs to be overhauled.
Where the jobs aren't
City & Guilds conducted research to understand this better. We found a huge mismatch between what careers 14-19 years olds want to pursue and where the jobs will actually be.
For example, more than 15% of young people said they want a career in arts, entertainment and presenting. Yet, less than 5% of all jobs will be in this industry by 2022, according to job forecasts.
Additionally, 20% of young people said they want to work in education, but only 10% of jobs will be in this sector.
Where the jobs are
Now look at where the jobs are going to be.
23% of new jobs created by 2022 will be in health and social work, which was popular with young people as well. But if you look closer, most of them want to be medical practitioners, when the demand is far greater for care workers.
These mismatches are not helpful to young people because they create huge competition for a small number of jobs. That's a waste of time, effort and labour, especially when so many employers suffer from skills gaps.
So how do we correct this?
It starts with better advice in school. Young people deserve to know where the job opportunities are, and what skills and experience employers are looking for.
68% of young people surveyed want to go to university, even though a third didn't even know what they want to study. There's nothing wrong with university, but only 30% of jobs in 2022 are predicted to require a degree.
That's why careers advice should also include different ways into work, besides university. That way, young people will be able to choose the best path for them.
Another key finding from the report is that we need better links between young people and employers.
Most of the jobs young people want are ones they see regularly, hence the strong desire to be teachers and doctors. So unless they meet employers from the wholesale and retail trade, we're unlikely to raise the current demand (3%) to the future need (15%).