GCSE results 2016: teenagers face an ‘information overload’ when it comes to career choices, says new report

They also rely on television and outdated perceptions about careers from their parents’ generation, it reveals.

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Young people face an “information overload” when it comes to careers, new research reveals

Young people face an “information overload” when it comes to careers, new research reveals as school pupils across England review their plans for the future on GCSE results day 2016.

The Moments of Choice report from the Careers & Enterprise Company also says that many young people rely on television or outdated perceptions of the world of work – referring to the jobs available to their parents’ generation, for example – when making decisions about what to do after education.

According to the report, conducted by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), the way that careers information is complicated and causes young people to switch off from making decisions about their future. This includes a multitude of online sources that present information on careers in different ways with a wide range of criteria to evaluate it against.

Claudia Harris, CEO of the Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “The way that careers information is presented is overwhelming to young people. The already complex world of work is being made more complex, causing young people to switch off from decision-making altogether.

“Our report highlights two next steps: to be clearer in how we frame career choices for young people and to help young people build the judgment and skills needed to navigate the decision making process. Alongside this research is our proposal for a set of public information campaigns to help young people and their support networks. These campaigns would be overseen by experts and informed by the latest research on what works.”

Today’s report also provides proposals on how to improve the situation, including a series of public information campaigns to better frame career choices, targeted at young people, their families and support networks at key moments in the school calendar. These campaigns would be overseen by employers, academics and careers advisors and informed by the latest research, the Careers & Enterprise Company has proposed.

The research also underlines the important role of employers in providing young people with exposure to the world of work so they can make informed decisions about their future. It is published as the Careers & Enterprise Company celebrates the milestone of recruiting 1,000 business volunteers as Enterprise Advisors within a year of being launched. This new nationwide network is building links between employers, schools and colleges across the country with the ambition to encourage even more businesses to get involved so every young person can benefit.

Susannah Hume, Head of Skills at the Behavioural Insights Team, said: “We started this research thinking that inspiring and informing young people were two separate challenges, but what we quickly realised was that inspiration about what a job would be like for them may be the most important form of information we can give to young people.

“We found that young people often have inaccurate ideas of what many jobs would actually be like, and that they may lack the support to seek out and evaluate information about potential careers. Good labour market information needs to be combined with providing inspiration in order to have a real impact on young people’s visions for their future.”

BIT is a social purpose company, jointly owned by the UK Government; Nesta (the innovation charity); and employees, starting life at 10 Downing Street as the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences. BIT aims to make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use; improve outcomes by introducing a more realistic model of human behaviour to policy; and wherever possible, enable people to make better choices for themselves.

The Careers & Enterprise Company is an employer-led organisation, set up to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work

According to the report, conducted by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), the way that careers information is complicated and causes young people to switch off from making decisions about their future. 

The research also underlines the important role of employers in providing young people with exposure to the world of work so they can make informed decisions about their future. It is published as the Careers & Enterprise Company celebrates the milestone of recruiting 1,000 business volunteers as Enterprise Advisors within a year of being launched. This new nationwide network is building links between employers, schools and colleges across the country with the ambition to encourage even more businesses to get involved so every young person can benefit.

Susannah Hume, Head of Skills at the Behavioural Insights Team, said: “We started this research thinking that inspiring and informing young people were two separate challenges, but what we quickly realised was that inspiration about what a job would be like for them may be the most important form of information we can give to young people.

“We found that young people often have inaccurate ideas of what many jobs would actually be like, and that they may lack the support to seek out and evaluate information about potential careers. Good labour market information needs to be combined with providing inspiration in order to have a real impact on young people’s visions for their future.”

BIT is a social purpose company, jointly owned by the UK Government; Nesta (the innovation charity); and employees, starting life at 10 Downing Street as the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences. BIT aims to make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use; improve outcomes by introducing a more realistic model of human behaviour to policy; and wherever possible, enable people to make better choices for themselves.

The Careers & Enterprise Company is an employer-led organisation, set up to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work

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