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Parents concerned by lack of career advice


Parents feel careers advice in schools is too focused on academia, and children do not receive enough of it

Parents have significant concerns about the quality of careers advice on offer to secondary school pupils, according to a report from construction, services and property group Kier.

The survey of 2,000 secondary school teachers, parents and careers advisors found that almost three-quarters (74%) of parents felt that school careers advice is too focused on academia, and two-thirds (68%) believed that children do not receive enough careers advice at school.

Averting a £90bn GDP crisis: A report on the image and recruitment crisis facing the built environment found that 65% of pupils aged 11 to 13 got no official advice, and only 27% of 13- to 15-year-olds received ‘one hour, once'.

Parents were found to be lacking knowledge about potential career options for their children. Four in 10 (81%) parents were unaware that major FTSE companies can pay the cost of a degree course and offer a guaranteed entry point into work upon completion of studies, despite 57% being put off their children attending university by rising fees.

Haydn Mursell, chief executive of Kier, said the construction industry is facing particular pressure. “With an ageing workforce, uncertainty around Brexit, and an ambitious pipeline of construction, housing and wider infrastructure projects that equates to £90 billion of UK GDP delivery and creates a demand for circa 400,000 new recruits per annum, it is imperative that we attract new talent into our industry,” he said.

“We have an image crisis, based on out-of-date perceptions and advice. We cannot leave this to schools, councils or the government alone to resolve. Business is best placed to explain itself, its employment offering and its skills and training needs.”

He said that for this reason Kier is pledging a minimum of 1% of its workforce as ‘career ambassadors’ to work with schools and colleges across the UK. The aim is to engage with at least 10,000 pupils over the next 12 months.

“If every company in the FTSE 250 and FTSE 100 followed the 1% pledge we could create a powerful network of advisors to inform and inspire the next generation,” he said.