There's no doubt that the economic climate is causing an immediate squeeze on the job market, but the impression this has on young people still in full-time education is often not considered.
However, when this is closely examined, the depleted job market is, in-fact, triggering more lateral thought amongst young adults. A recent report by Viking, leading provider of office supplies to SMEs, which questioned 1,000 students recently out of education, highlighted that ongoing unemployment has made starting up a business a more viable option. Of those respondents who were unemployed, 76 per cent agreed.
The appeal of being your own boss has always resonated with the UK's youth market. However, the fact that there is now a direct snapshot of opinion to validate this and demonstrate a clear link with the lackluster job opportunities that are prevalent throughout the UK, is a clear call to action for those within schools, colleges and universities tasked with ensuring young people make informed decisions about their future. This is ever more apparent in light of the fact that 67% of those surveyed claim they had received no start-up careers advice whatsoever.
The current outlook for employment in the UK supports the concerns young people have about the lack of opportunities and increased competition that this scarcity has brought about. Recent data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the last quarter from April to June 2012 showed that there are 2.65 million unemployed people in the UK. In the North East, where the highest figure of unemployment is found (10.4%), 78 per cent thought starting a business was an attractive prospect. With unemployment figures still averaging over 5 to 10 per cent in each region, it is important that students are given as much advice as possible to allow them to maximise the opportunities that exist out there.
In light of the apparent lack of start-up advice provided while individuals are still in education, it's interesting to review which sources of information young people would turn to. Friends and family were said to be the preferred source for business start-up advice, with over 60 per cent of respondents choosing this option, and this was favoured over government agencies, entrepreneurial advice websites and membership organisations.
There is obviously a growing appetite for starting a business and for an organisation that has been supporting small businesses for 22 years, it is encouraging to see so much optimism.
Many of today's aspiring and entrepreneurial businesses were established by young people and it should be encouraged by schools, colleges and universities, especially in a time when jobs are lacking and unemployment remains high.
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