One in three teenagers in the UK is worried about where their education will take them, a new survey has revealed.
The research from the Career Colleges Trust found that more than 1,000 of those aged between 13 and 16 years of age believe that academic grades and league tables are the main focus of the education system.
The survey highlights that 66% believe this, while 54% say schools neglect to consider what their career ambitions are.
Just 13% says schools are geared to helping with their future careers and 9% said schools consider their well-being.
Believing that their education could be a ‘waste of time’
This has led many students believing that their education could be a ‘waste of time’ and that the focus on academic achievement has an impact on the future of young people with 33% saying that they’ve got no idea about which career path they should take.
Also, 17% say they’ve got no idea of the options available to them outside of the traditional academic routes, including A-levels.
And 26% of students say that the UK’s education system is not currently fit for purpose while 37% of respondents said they weren’t sure.
The joint chief executive of the Career Colleges Trust, Ruth Gilbert, said: “The education system is talked about and debated frequently, but we rarely ask young people about their experiences.
“The research highlights concerns that teenagers have about career pathways and the education and support that is needed to help their futures.”
Young people are not aware of opportunities
She added that employers are facing a skills gap, but young people are not aware of the opportunities that are available to them.
Students are struggling to make important decisions about their future lives because schools are focused on delivering academic achievement.
Ms Gilbert added: “Our network of career colleges is working in partnership with industry to help young people gain access to employers and give a clear line of sight of the potential careers that are on offer. This needs to happen in colleges and schools and the government should take note of what students feel about their education.”
The chief executive of Future First, Matt Lent, said: “Career Colleges is right saying that too many college and state school students struggle to make the decisions about their future and are not getting the exposure to work experience and industry they need.
‘Crucial schools and colleges help prepare young people’
“Students can’t be what they can’t see and it’s crucial schools and colleges help prepare young people for entering the working world and raising aspirations as well as broadening career horizons to become aware of the range of opportunity that is available to them.”
He added that the lack of consistency when it comes to career support varies hugely between schools and between areas and every young person should have access to role models and to be exposed to diverse career opportunities.