Poor careers advice is stunting young people’s career aspirations, new research by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has found.

The study found that, while four in five young people aged between 14-19 have already given their careers some thought, the advice they have received is neither relevant nor “at pace” with their demands.

84% of 14-19 year olds believed they were “quite likely” or “very likely” to enter their chosen career path, yet 43% said that formal careers advice hadn’t been influential in their decision.

While advice from career providers would be welcome – with 84% of young people surveyed saying they would like more advice from their school or college – a quarter reported they instead rely on their parents for guidance.

Mark Farrar, chief executive of the AAT said:

“This research shows that the young people who have grown up through the recession are remarkably driven in thinking about their future career plans and acting on them.

“An absence of advice is also resulting in myths, such as that you need a degree to enter a career like accounting. This absolutely isn’t true, and young people should be aware of alternatives such as apprenticeships and professional training which can create a route into fantastic careers.”

The report comes just days after the new employment minister, Ester McVey, gave her backing to young entrepreneurs, urging both schools and the government to do more to encourage the belief that starting your own business is equally as valuable as more traditional employment routes.

Corinne Mills, MD of Personal Career Management, said the lack of career guidance is not only a disservice to the younger generation but a disservice to the economy and more needs to be done to prepare Britain’s youth for the future of employment.

Image by Ed Yourdon