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School leavers say careers advice remains insufficient

PUPILS: Photo credit Getty Images

ONE IN two students who are leaving secondary education in 2018 have said that they do not receive enough careers advice, according to a new survey published today by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians).

AAT spoke with over 1,000 17-18 year olds who intend to leave school after completing their A-levels in the summer, ahead of the UCAS deadline for university applications on Monday (Jan 15).

The survey revealed that university was the destination that they had the most knowledge of, with twice as many school leavers (72%) telling us they were aware of UCAS compared to the National Apprenticeship Service (36%). Only half (50%) had heard of the information provided by the National Careers Service.

And the availability of careers advisers within schools and colleges also seems to be scarce. Only 43 per cent of school leavers said they receive careers information and guidance from a careers adviser at their school or college, something the skills minister Anne Milton is keen to tackle this year, pledging £4 million to ensuring every school has a dedicated careers leader by the start of the 2018-19 academic year.

Suzie Webb, director of education and development, AAT, said: “Deciding the first step to take after leaving school can, for many, feel critical towards determining their eventual career. However, our research suggests that information and advice is somewhat lacking, and arguably biased towards the university route.

“While continued academia will prove the right choice for many school leavers, there is certainly more that can be done to ensure they are presented with all the options available. An integrated online portal, bringing together the UCAS, National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and other non-academic websites under one managed service could be a great start to ensure equal coverage of all routes to employment.”

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