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University ‘a gamble’ for many youngsters

Published: February 5, 2016

University is fast becoming a gamble for many young people, according to new findings.

A report by City and Guilds has warned that many youngsters do not understand the types of jobs available across the UK and are not making informed choices when it comes to the degrees they take up.

Its figures showed that demand for full-time undergraduate places at UK universities rose by two per cent in 2015.

Despite this, less than a third of roles will be available to graduates by the time they enter the jobs market.

Speaking about the findings, Kirstie Donnelly, managing director of City and Guilds, said: “Worryingly, the research showed a real lack of understanding of the types of jobs that will be available, so we’re likely to see many people chasing a few jobs whilst other roles go unfilled,” she said.

“It’s vitally important that we start giving young people better careers advice and access to employers so that they have all the information they need to make informed choices about their futures.”

Poor quality careers advice and ignorance about the jobs market was the reason behind the obsession with university degrees, according to the report.

Only a minority (19 per cent) of 14-19 year olds considered alternatives into work, such as apprenticeships or employment schemes.

Andy Durman, managing director of economic modelers EMSI, which participated in the report, said matching the skills of young people to potential job or training opportunities may in some cases, work better than university.

He added: “Only by equipping careers advisors with up-to-date local labour market information can we hope to give young people realistic advice that may actually help them to get a job.”

Mitrefinch offers time and attendance technology that will help businesses to manage their workforce more effectively.

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