Last updated: 23.11.13

Young people lacking information about vocational training

Too few young people in the UK are receiving careers advice encouraging them to explore alternative training options to traditional routes like university.

According to a new survey of 14 to 25-year-olds carried out by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) using Barclays' LifeSkills Youth Barometer, only one-quarter of respondents had been provided with information about apprenticeships.

Furthermore, just 17 per cent had been advised on the vocational qualifications available to them.

It means that, in a time when more than one million young people are out of employment, education or training, not enough individuals are receiving the career guidance that could be vital to their futures.

Katja Hall, chief policy director at the CBI, said the results of the survey are worrying, particularly when 14 to 25-year-olds currently have to make tough choices in light of university fees and the ever-growing selection of vocational training routes.

She added: "These are some of the biggest decisions young people will ever have to take and they deserve reliable, relevant, inspirational and high-quality careers advice."

The research further revealed there is a divide between males and females regarding the advice they received, with 30 per cent of men being informed about apprenticeships compared to 23 per cent of women.

Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds (66 per cent) of girls were given guidance about A-Level choices, while 58 per cent of men received the same, showing how both genders are being pigeon-holed into certain routes.

When asked about what they wanted to see from future career guidance, 20 per cent said they would like more information about the different pathways available to them and 16 per cent requested more talks from employers.

This emphasises the value alternative training methods have for young people, as well as the role of companies in aiding their personal development.

Ms Hall remarked: "Business has its part to play as the findings suggest a high level of interest from young people to engage with and spend time with employers to get ahead in their careers."