What influences young people’s future plans?
Good pay is the most important factor for young people in their future job or career, according to new research.
The study by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) explored the views of young people aged 11-18 years, specifically focusing on their plans after school, key influencers and their views and perceptions of careers.
Findings showed that when considering their future careers, good pay was by far the most important factor for young people, with job satisfaction a distant second. Young people are also influenced by their strengths and interests when considering what to do after school.
Over 1,500 young people participated in the research, which also found that being hard working and having the right qualifications are what young people think employers are most looking for from their employees.
It is important that we continue to encourage and support young people to identify the career or careers that will give them job satisfaction, offer them varied and interesting roles and a sense of being valued at work.
Director of Career Information, Advice and Guidance - Skills Development Scotland
James Russell, Director of Career Information, Advice and Guidance said: "These findings are fascinating, and while they may not be surprising given the current cost of living crisis, it is important that we continue to encourage and support young people to identify the career or careers that will give them job satisfaction, offer them varied and interesting roles and a sense of being valued at work.
“We want people working in Scotland to be happy, fulfilled and realising their potential. If you’re in a job that gives you a sense of self-worth, where you can use and build on your strengths, see all your options and the people that can help you to grow, develop and move on, you will be happy at work.
“Those are the skills SDS careers advisers are working with people across the country to develop.”
The Young People in Scotland research was carried out between September and December 2022 with views gathered from a representative sample of 1,533 young people across Scotland. The fieldwork was undertaken by Ipsos Scotland with SDS’s Evaluation and Research team producing the analysis and outputs.
These findings have generated insightful discussion among SDS colleagues and has informed further deep dive analysis of the findings. They will also be used by Scottish Government colleagues to add value to their evidence base and inform policy development.
The study also found that the sectors that young people consider going into vary by gender, with males considering careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and sport, and females considering caring or creative careers.
James added: “This reinforces the need for much earlier intervention and exposure to jobs, opportunities and industry experiences from a young age. We know from all the work that went into the Career Review that there are clear gender differences in the sectors to which young people aspire and these are often engrained from an early age. Our careers advisers are alert to the impact of gender stereotyping and ensure that they challenge any preconceived ideas that young people have about job roles and recognise that this needs to happen earlier, before these stereotypes have had time to form.”