The UK’s future generation would fail to alleviate England’s skills shortages if they decided to pursue their own career goals, new research has found.
A poll of secondary school pupils by careers advice website B-live.com, found that if they followed their current ambitions, there would only be two builders or agricultural workers available for every five that were needed. And for every four care workers required, only one would be available.
Skills shortages in key sectors such as IT look set to continue as only 7% of the 1,700 respondents wanted careers in computers and technology, preferring veterinary and architecture instead.
Four in 10 said they had no idea about what career path they would follow. Less than half said they used their school careers centre and had found it to be helpful, while a third of students had never been to a careers centre before.
Nearly eight in 10 respondents listed good pay as their principal motivator, while capitalising on their skills was the second most important factor.
Two-thirds of girls were motivated by the prospect of using their skills, compared with 54% of boys.
Tanja Kuveljic, managing director of B-live.com, said: “There is a strong preference for jobs that receive a high profile on television and in films Ð doctors, vets, paramedics, lawyers, the police and chefs. This is the ‘cool careers’ culture. Less glamorous jobs and those which are poorly paid are ignored.”