Young people face unemployment because they ‘shun’ sectors with job prospects, Magnified Learning reports

David Woods , 14 Oct 2011


With unemployment at a 17-year high and the unemployment total for 16-24 year olds at 991,000, young people shun careers in key growth industries, according to Magnified Learning.

Major British industries are facing a talent shortage unless they can shake their "unattractive images", according to a survey published today by industry and education specialists Magnified Learning.

According to more than 1,000 young people aged 14 and 15 years old, the jobs that are essential for economic growth are "boring" and among the jobs that ranked poorly when asked which jobs they would most like to do.

Less than 3% of young people considered the environment sector - marked by prime minister David Cameron as a "vital" industry for economic growth.

Least popular was public transport with less than 2% of young people choosing a career in the sector and just 3% showed an interest in the energy sector.

Jobs in transport, environmental services and the energy sector all performed consistently badly in the survey of pre-GCSE students, with jobs in transport also thought to be the "most boring."

Jobs in the media and creative industries were the only sectors to score consistently well among young people approaching working age.

Chris Horton, director of Magnified Learning, said: "The high levels of youth unemployment are alarming, but even more alarming is that our research shows that the industries in which there are likely to be jobs opening up for young people, are not even being considered by the vast majority of them.

"We believe tackling these negative perceptions is a two-way process, and it is important that industry leaders recognise their responsibility to engage with the next generation in order to foster new talent.

"It will be impossible for the UK economy to thrive if we can't convince young Britons that such career paths are worth aspiring to."

The statistics are the results of a survey of more than 1100 young people between the ages of 14 -15, from eight different schools in Birmingham, London and the southeast.

What are the job sectors you want to work in most?

  1. Media (37%)
  2. Creative (35%)
  3. Health & Social Care (21%)
  4. Sport & Leisure (21%)
  5. IT (18%)
  6. Uniform Services (16%)
  7. Financial Services (14%)
  8. Teaching (14%)
  9. Hair & Beauty (13%)
  10. Animal Care (13%)

What are the job sectors you see as most boring?

  1. Public Transport (23%)
  2. Charities (22%)
  3. Civil Service (22%)
  4. Farming (22%)
  5. Financial Services (20%)
  6. Estate Agent (19%)
  7. Environment (16%)
  8. Energy (15%)
  9. Hair & Beauty (14%)
  10. Construction (14%)


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It starts in school!

EB 14 Oct 2011

It's a no brainer that the Education System has a huge part to play in getting students to re-assess their career choices. Children are inspired by people in the media/ celebs and money therefore part of the curriculum should be about those who have succeeded in what appears to be a dull profession and those who have gone on to innovate in less glamourous jobs. Students need to have the facts spelled out to them...if career counsellors can catch them at an early age and demonstrate the likely career path and earnings capacity they may achieve on entering such professions then perhaps students will sit up and take notice.

Look below the surface guys!

Stuart Spindler 14 Oct 2011

Very interesting – and something of an indictment of both sides of the equation, job hunters and employers in these sectors. As a recruiter specialising in finding senior managers and directors for the environmental and renewable energy sectors, I find the level of interest in these industries to be very high. Perhaps the more senior executives have got beyond the superficial and realise that there is plenty of interest and stimulus in most sectors of industry, if you look into them with an open mind. For example, waste management and recycling is not the most attractive business on first acquaintance, but the young job hunters in the survey should have come along to the Recycling & Waste Management Exhibition at the NEC last month. This showcase for the environmental sector featured many multinational companies, very high quality stand displays – and even a fashion show with models wearing clothes made from recycled fabrics. Many of the companies in this market are expanding, there is new technology being introduced and jobs being created. Look below the surface, guys!

Rise of the Fitness Industry

Brian 14 Oct 2011

The fitness industry has been rising steadily over the last decade providing many opportunities to young enthisiastic individuals with an interest in health and fitness. Many options are available with a wide variety of progression routes - for more info on this fun and exciting career option visit

Ask the employers!

bj 14 Oct 2011

A very interesting and usful survey, next one should ask the potential employers. How many, if really honest, would say that they shun away from employing younger people because of worries of maternity and paternity benefits. SME's, where every person is key, are particularly vunerable.

Unemployed youth

Nicola Harvey 14 Oct 2011

This article highlights the worsening state of the economy and its impact on every day people. The even more worrying fact is that youth unemployment figures released this week showed that its reached almost 1 million young people across the UK. The solution? this is a website which offers jobs, courses and training for young people aged 15-24 to get ahead in life. Go on, make a difference and tell a young unemployed person about (

More than one solution

nigel 14 Oct 2011

It would be great if schools and careers/information, advice and guidance (IAG) personnel could do all this, but they can't. This is partly because governments will always shift the goal posts on things like work-related learning and enterprise. Moreover, given the pace of technological innovation and the unpredicatble impacts of globalisation, it would be a very tall order to expect teachers and IAG staff to possess a clear sense of the diverse needs of the C21st century workplaces. Attributing responsibility to any one party, whether that be schools, employers or young people, is not the answer. What is needed is an appetite for partnerships. With the best will in the world that leadership is not going to come from schools, central government, or young people. So given that this is a business problem, it seems only reasonable to hope that the business community will show the way.


Sue 17 Oct 2011

And engineering and manufacturing are not even listed! Very worrying...

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