Students need additional support to conquer their career concerns, says AAT

92 per cent of 16-19-year olds in London are worried about making career decisions, despite the average person having six jobs in a lifetime

With A-Level results day looming, new research from AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) shows that 92 per cent of 16-19-year olds in London are worried about making career decisions, such as choosing what job they want to do in the future or deciding on what to do after they leave school. 

The top worry cited by young people in London is choosing the right job to suit them (30 per cent), followed by fearing they won’t be as successful as they want to be (20 per cent) and not knowing what they want to do in the future (13 per cent).

The majority of 16-19-year olds (51 per cent) across the UK as a whole said the stress caused by career decisions is having a negative effect on their health. More than a quarter (28 per cent) said that they struggle to sleep at night due to career decision worries, while 22 per cent are either overeating or undereating. Almost one in five (17 per cent) said that they are having panic attacks as a result, and 18 per cent said they don’t think they’re doing as well at school as a result.

Students pressured to go to university

There is a range of pathways that students can take to develop their skills, yet three quarters (76 per cent) of 16-19-year olds in London say they experienced pressure from their schools to choose to go to university. More than a third (36 per cent) stated that they experienced significant pressure. 

Additionally, a quarter (26 per cent) of 16-19-year olds in London say their school never spoke with them about apprenticeships, while 48 per cent said their school mentioned apprenticeships but focused more on university.

According to figures obtained from the Department for Education, the proportion of students going to university nationally has increased steadily from 53 per cent in 2012 to 59 per cent in 2015 while apprenticeships remain a small minority (6 per cent in 2015).

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