- Nearly a quarter of school leavers want to earn as they continue to learn according to research
- Astonishing 42% would love to have a career in football – but two in five believe it’s impossible
- AAT urges young people to explore alternative routes into a dream career through finance qualification
This week students up and down England and Wales will be considering their next steps following A Level results day on Thursday 18th August.
New research commissioned by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) shows that despite further education, such as a university degree, being on the cards for many school leavers (56%), an increasing amount (24%) are prioritising combining learning with earning. Data also shows 15% are considering paid work and just 3% want to take some time out.
Meanwhile 43% of school leavers feel fearful of challenges finding employment, or having financial struggles in the current economic climate (34%). There’s also concern about whether they will find a job they enjoy (39%).
After some of the sporting success stories of recent months, and with the summer transfer window creating as much buzz as ever, it’s perhaps unsurprising that when asked about it as a career option, 42% of school leavers agreed they would embrace an opportunity to work in football – however two in five sadly believe it is impossible to have a career in their favourite sport.
A massive three-quarters (75%) have never considered the possibility of a career in and around sport away from the playing staff, with perceived required skills for a career in the football industry involving physical fitness (79%), teamwork (79%) and effective communication (43%).
However, AAT are calling on young people to not be deterred and think about the range of possibilities out there, including an accountancy qualification which could provide a route into pretty much any sector, including sport. Currently only 4% of school leavers consider financial skills as essential in pursuing a career in football.
Sarah Beale, Chief Executive, AAT, said:
“It’s easy for young people to think there are only narrow options to get to work in an industry they love, but here at AAT we are determined to showcase how accountancy qualifications can open a whole world of opportunities across any industry or sector.
“We are also very aware of the increasing trend toward learning whilst earning, and our range of qualifications enable people of all ages and from all backgrounds to start the next stage of their lives on a secure financial footing.”
Interestingly, of the UK adult population, the desire for young people to earn as they learn is even higher with 32% believing this should be a priority and only 16% indicating that further education was the best next step. An indication perhaps of concerns from parents over the economy and current employment climate and how a university degree is only one option that’s open to them and not always the best option for their dream career, whatever that may be.
The research by AAT also showed that four in 10 (41%) people would jump at the opportunity to become a football agent – swapping the shinpads for suits and the celebrations for handshakes in the boardroom, closing the big deals that can deliver that same degree of adrenaline.
Football super-agent, Jon Smith OBE, who has worked across sport including with the likes of Diego Maradona and Lord Sebastian Coe wants young people to think differently and to see how accountancy and training on the job are a great way to get to do something you love.
Jon Smith OBE said:
“It’s hard as fully grown adults to remember what it’s like to be a teenager trying to work out what next to do in your life. I’d just encourage school leavers (and their parents and carers) to look at the range of options out there that enable kids to do something they love.
“Gaining a solid foundation in financial expertise has helped me throughout my career and given me the opportunity to work across sport with some of the greatest athletes of all time.”
Examples of AAT qualifications include accountancy and bookkeeping as well as business skills. The courses can be completed part-time or full-time and can be studied whilst working or full-time at college. Study options include learning in a classroom, online or through blended learning, which combines face-to-face with online study.