Pupils choose YouTube over teachers for careers advice

Fewer schoolchildren are turning to their teachers for careers advice, while YouTube, Google and social media sites are becoming increasingly popular with youngsters, new research has found.

In three years there has been a 12 per cent drop in the number of young people who speak to teachers about jobs, the research says.

Almost two thirds of 11 to 15-year-olds still speak to teachers about future career plans – but now 15 per cent of the ‘selfservice generation’ also turn to YouTube for information about jobs.

Research commissioned by the government-backed campaign Your Life, which aims to inspire more young people to study maths and physics, has found that the majority of students turn to their parents for advice (66 per cent) although Google (27 per cent) and other social media sites (12 per cent) are also popular.

In response to the findings, the industry-led campaign has launched a new YouTube channel offering students, parents and teachers up-to-date information and careers inspiration with a particular focus on maths and physics.

The new research, for which more than 1,000 children aged 11-18 were interviewed, concludes that more traditional sources of advice are becoming less popular, with just a third (32 per cent) of young people seeking information from a careers adviser.

Entrepreneur Edwina Dunn, chair of the Your Life campaign, said: “We’re seeing the unstoppable rise of a self-service generation. Young people want answers about their future and they want them now.

“They no longer want to be told what they should be doing with their lives by adults with out-of-date information about careers of old. They want to know where doors are open, where the best and most rewarding jobs are, and what subjects they need to study for a fast-track career.”

Research by YouGov for education company Pearson revealed in 2012 that 70 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds went to teachers for careers advice, however the new research has found that now just 62 per cent of youngsters turn to their teachers.

The new Your Life channel will provide interviews with inspiring ambassadors, behind-the-scenes footage with employers and advice on how to make maths and physics more interesting.

Ms Dunn added: “At the heart of the solution to the problem is careers inspiration in our schools. This can take many forms, including YouTube films and vlogs, an employer talk or the surprising use of maths and physics in a lesson. We expect the Your Life YouTube channel to help lift young people’s ambitions and help them seek out new and exciting careers.”

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