Career Choices in UK – Less than half of young people stay on at school after the age of 16

Insight into the data behind the educa onal and career choices that young people make at 16 and 18

Over 400,000 students in England’s mainstream schools and colleges nish A levels or equivalent quali cations every year. In this report we follow the routes they take from the age of 15 or 16 as they choose what A levels to study (or whether to do something else) through to what happens to them after they leave school or college at 18. On the way we look at the subjects that they have studied, the quali cations that they have entered and achieved and what happens to them after they leave compulsory education.

Career choices matter immensely to the young people that are making them. What you study in this period of your life and how well you do in these quali cations exerts a strong in uence on the rest of your career. It is important that young people understand that the decisions that they take at the beginning and end of their A levels are career decisions. Of course, there are many other decisions that will matter after this point, but the choices that you make at school and college provide the context within which all future decisions will be made. The data presented in this paper can help young people to understand this and to make wise decisions about how to navigate this period of their lives.

We hope that both of these resources will be useful for Careers Leaders in schools and colleges as they design and develop their careers programmes. We hope that this document will give you useful labour market information that you can use in your programmes as well as resources that you can adapt and distribute to teachers, parents and young people. Both documents are available to download for free on our website.

We hope that this will be useful to support:

• young people’s educational and career decision making at 15 and 16 as they consider whether to pursue A levels or take another route
• discussions and deliberations that happen during Key Stage 5 about future options
• advice and guidance in the frantic period after A level results as young people rethink and adjust their career plans after their results have arrived
The resource is organised around a series of common myths. We have provided a factual response to each of these myths and some points for re ection by young people. You can use the myths to stimulate discussion in class, the factual responses to provide labour market information to young people and the re ection points to help young people to think through their responses to this information.
We hope that you nd it useful and that it helps you to meet both Gatsby Benchmark 2 (learning from career and labour market information) and Gatsby Benchmark 7 (encounters with further and higher education).


Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at A level myth buster – Adventures in Career Development


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