Headlines: September 14th, 2007

Young people are turning to the Internet and social networking sites for careers advice because few of them get support in their career development while they are in full time education. Research published today shows that only one in ten young workers said they had received careers advice and almost all of those that did get it found it confusing and unhelpful.

The YouGov research is being published today by the recruitment consultants Harvey Nash at a roundtable event with Professor Mike Campbell, who is Director of Development at the Sector Skills Development Agency. The figures show that 62 per cent of young people had not decided on a career by the time they left full-time education. The researchers say this may result in many of them failing to settle into careers early. They may also be unsure where to turn for future advice.

Of those young people seeking careers advice from both formal and informal sources, 62 per cent said they got more value from informal careers resources, such as the Internet and their peers. Only one in five would consider going to a careers adviser. Almost three quarters of those taking part in the study said they would be most likely to turn for advice to friends and colleagues first with 52 per cent putting online job sites second.

The study also shows that 74 per cent of young people are regular users of social networking sites with 40 per cent regularly logging into Facebook and 36 per cent using MySpace. Five per cent of young people are already using these sites for careers advice and professional networking and the researchers expect that figure to rise.

Albert Ellis, the CEO of Harvey Nash, said that without direction and adviceyoung people were missing out on potential career opportunities and businesses could be missing out on the next generation of skills they would need to compete. “The rudderless approach young people are taking to the early stage of their careers has a serious knock-on effect for the recruitment industry and business in general. We need to engage young people in their career choices early and in a focused way to ensure we get the right talent in the right places,” he said.