The career expectations of today’s youth ‘have nothing in common’ with the future demands of the labour market, according to a new survey.

The report from the Education and Employers Taskforce (EET) warns that this discordance will present a ‘significant problem’ for employers.

The survey of 11,000 teenagers aged 13-16 revealed a general lack of understanding about the breadth of job opportunities across the economy. The report suggests that this ignorance breeds limited career aspirations and skills, which might impede career development.

A lack of understanding about the potential earning power attached to different jobs was also identified. Seven of the 10 least popular jobs amongst respondents typically pay more than the average UK salary (£21,473).

The aspirations of more than a third of the teenagers were confined to just 10 careers: accountant, actor, army/navy/airforce/fire fighter, doctor, IT consultant, lawyer, police, psychologist, sportsperson and teacher. Half of respondents’ careers interests lay in only three of 25 occupational sectors.

‘While some employers will be spoilt for choice in considering new recruits, others are very likely to be struggling to find young people who are aware of the job opportunities they have to offer and well prepared by their educational choices for them,’ the report said.

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