Young people’s perceptions and attitudes of their post-16 options

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Young Londoners are increasingly at risk of being a generation left behind, plagued by long term unemployment and lacking the technical skills vitally needed by employers. Across Europe, labour markets are shifting away from low skilled jobs towards high skilled ones, creating a skills gap with supply failing to meet demand . Recent Governments have tried to address this, focusing on increasing the number of people achieving within an apprenticeship, however figures suggest that take up is being primarily driven by those aged over 25. Our research examined the perceptions and attitudes young people have of their post-16 choices, exploring what influences their decision, such as living in London.

We have also released a series of short videos, which highlight some of the findings of the reports. We interviewed a few young people, asking them:

The aim of this research will be to gain a better understanding of the perceptions and attitudes that young people have to their post-16 choices. It will explore what influences them in their decisions to pursue an apprenticeship, or university, and how this changes in relation to their peers.

  • We conducted six focus groups, with a total of 42 young people. Groups typically took an hour and a half, and were conducted in their borough, in community centres.
  • Ages ranged between 14-25, with a variety of backgrounds. Each group represented a different age bracket, with one for 14-15, 15-16, 16-17, 18+, and two mixed groups.
  • Young people came from voluntary sector groups, and local authorities, coming from nine different boroughs, and different schools.