More than 40% of people aged 16-24 are putting their career or education plans on hold until the pandemic is over, a new survey has found.
The research, commissioned by BAE Systems to mark National Apprenticeship Week, found a fifth (21%) said they are more confused about their career path than before the pandemic, with 20% saying the industry they had wanted to work in has been deeply impacted.
The respondents viewed engineering as the fifth best industry for long-term career opportunities, selected by 13%, compared to healthcare (31%) and education (20%).
Almost a third (31%) said continuous learning and the ability to develop skills were important factors in a career, reinforcing the need for flexible training and skills development. Wanting to earn a good salary (41%) topped the chart, while jobs that provide stability and routine (30%) and a career that is future-proofed (25%) were key areas of concern. Nearly a third (30%) of respondents said the opportunity to make a difference to the world was important to them in a future career.
Nearly two thirds (63%) said they have or would consider an apprenticeship, of which four in ten (41%) cited gaining experience in the working world as a key driver.
Richard Hamer, education and skills director at BAE Systems, said: “It’s clear that currently, the path for young people looking to enter the job market is extremely tough. The ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic are far-reaching and have left students with greater uncertainty about their future. That’s why it’s important that those of us who can, must continue to create new opportunities for young people, working hand in hand with the government and wider industry, to make available options known to young people.
“Apprenticeships play a significant role, providing people with the necessary skills to work in highly specialised and technical industries. Through on-the-job learning of practical skills, the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals and the provision of support at every step of their training, apprenticeships can offer an entry into a long-term and successful career.”
BAE Systems recently announced it will recruit more than 850 apprentices and 400 graduates in 2021, its highest intake in a single year.