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  • Nearly half of young people feel they’re not receiving the broadest possible careers advice to help them make decisions (49%)
  • 40% of those questioned felt their opinions about their own careers were being ignored
  • A third of those aged 17 to 19 feel they don’t have access to the careers advice they need
  • Parents are the most important source of information for young people (31%) – more than teachers or careers advisers

Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions that anyone ever makes – after all, a career is with you for life. But is your final career your own decision? When making the choice, young people need support and encouragement to help them, yet new research from educational organisation Find a Future has discovered that, far from feeling reassured, many feel confused and isolated, with little or no acknowledgement of their own opinions or decisions.

40% of those questioned for the new research felt that their opinions about their own career choices were being ignored, and almost half felt that they were not receiving the broadest possible careers advice to help them make the right decisions. To help young people have a say in their own futures, Find a Future is launching the UK’s first careers and skills-based Youth Panel.

Free to join, Find a Future’s Youth Panel will be formed of more than 100 young people aged 16-20 and will aim to give them the chance to make their voices heard on skills and careers matters. Through regular online surveys, the panel will be asked its opinions on a range of topics including their ambitions and concerns surrounding the world of work, their contact with employers and the choices they feel are available to them, to help drive real change in how careers advice and opportunities are delivered in the UK.

The research conducted by Find a Future has revealed that young peoples’ experiences vary across the UK: half of those in Wales and the North East feel that their opinions about their future choices are not being heard, while almost two thirds of young people in the West Midlands and South West feel they may not have access to the broadest possible careers advice to help them make decisions about their future. To ensure careers advice is uniform across the UK, and to give young people the opportunity to voice concerns about their future, the Youth Panel will provide young people with a voice for change whatever their location, with an online portal that will poll members on their opinions on how they feel about careers and the opportunities available to them.

Recruitment for the Youth Panel is now open. To register your interest, please visit, email or register your interest at The Skills Show 2015. #theyouthpanel


Josh Valman, 21, MD of RPD International – a global manufacturing company with a multi-million pound valuation – is supporting the launch of Find a Future’s Youth Panel. He commented:

It can be a really daunting time when you start to consider your future and potential career opportunities. There are so many options out there, and everyone has an opinion about what you should do, but often there’s no easy way to discuss the options open to you, or express your opinions about the world of work.

Today’s young people have a voice and want to be heard about the issues that affect them in deciding their future career paths.  The Youth Panel is a really exciting opportunity for young people that finally gives them a voice, a place to share concerns, asking the questions that matter to them and being part of a group of like-minded individuals.  The Youth Panel is a great way to bring their ideas to the world, inspiring others at the start of their career to make better informed and relevant decisions.

By joining this initiative, young people will be able to take control of their own futures.

Dr Neil Bentley, Chief Executive at Find a Future, commented:

It is worrying that so many young people don’t feel they get the right access to careers advice – and even more so that nearly half do not feel they are getting the best advice. It’s essential that our young people have a voice. Without it, we will find it near-impossible to improve careers advice and access to learning and work, and skills gaps that have been gathering momentum across industries will continue to grow. This must be avoided to help boost economic growth and productivity.

Dr Bentley continued:

The launch of our Youth Panel is key to gaining an insider route to the opinions of young people up and down the country. At Find a Future, we’re committed to putting young people at the heart of our work and the Youth Panel will help create a platform for change, advocating new and interesting ways to engage with young people to ensure they are inspired and able to reach their full potential. Whether you’re a parent, a teacher or a young person yourself, we’d urge you to either get involved or help to spread the word. This is a brilliant opportunity to help shape how the next generation moves into the world of work.


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