Career Connect

In part 2 of their response to the Youth Voice Census 2023 findings, our Youth Ambassadors share their experience of access to careers guidance and the things that employers can do to be more inclusive of young people’s needs.

(Note: This is part 2 of a 2-part article.  Read part 1 HERE)

Youth Voice Census Key Finding 3:

Image of young people from the Youth Voice Census 2023

There is a welcome increase in the number of young people in secondary school reporting access to careers fairs, mentors and employers visiting their school. This said, only 12.4% of young people think there are quality opportunities available where they live.

Youth Ambassador 1: “There was a Careers Fair at my college, and I spoke to a careers person when I left college through Evie, Career Connect’s Youth Voice Co-ordinator. Everyone else had a face-to-face careers appointment at school, but I was missed off.”

Youth Ambassador 2: “I didn’t see a Careers Officer in high school because of Covid. I had two meetings with a careers adviser from Career Connect. One day in school I was told to go and see the Career Connect adviser.

“I was also contacted after I dropped out of Year 10 and I was put back in contact with Career Connect.”

Youth Ambassador 1: “Being a Career Connect Ambassador has been so insightful, to see behind the scenes and to learn about statistics about other young people like me. My confidence has increased. Just having someone listen to you and ask your opinions makes me feel very validated.

“It has made me aware of other career opportunities, but I’m set on art at the minute. I’m using the ConnectMyCareer platform, which we get access to as Ambassadors, this week to help me look for a job and put my CV together.”

Youth Ambassador 2: “I definitely think my confidence has gone up [since becoming a Career Connect Youth Ambassador]. On my first meeting I nearly had a panic attack but now I just stroll in! Meeting other young people in a non-hostile environment has helped.”

Youth Voice Census Key Finding 4:

Image of a young person from the Youth Voice Census 2023

Wellbeing for young people in work is an issue. 1 in 3 young people in work say they are struggling and are less happy than this time last year. Around 10% of young people in work are suffering from depression.

Youth Ambassador 1: “I’ve heard horror stories about some workplaces – I think it’s difficult for me because I have a lot of requirements, because of my ADHD and anxiety. Not many jobs offer the support I need – like time out or the option of shorter shifts. I’ve heard about stories of bad customers and not being treated well by the company.”

Youth Ambassador 2: “I think there should be more awareness among employers about special needs and mental health awareness.

“A lot of young people work in hospitality, and these are mainly owned by the big chains. They should be more aware of young people’s needs and what they can do to support those  with specific needs. There should be less hostile work environments.

“As Career Connect Youth Ambassadors we went to a session with the EY Foundation, where we met with employers to discuss what support young people need and what could help them. All employers should do this.”

What do you think of the 2023 Youth Voice Census Survey?

Youth Ambassador 1: “I think the survey is very good, but a localised survey would be even better. I think a good way to do it would be in schools and colleges. I would do a survey if given in college or school.”

Youth Ambassador 2: “I definitely think localised surveys would be useful, especially in the North/Northwest as there’s a long history of underfunding in the north. The south feels very separate. I definitely feel like transport and things are really behind up here.

“I think focus groups are also really helpful. I think for most young people, they might be confused of how this affects them or don’t care – so it would be good if it could be explained to young people about the purpose and outcome, like what actions did/could young people’s responses to this survey lead to?”

Read the full survey findings HERE.

Image of a young person with the words "Youth Voice Census 2023 Report".

Thank you to our Youth Ambassadors for sharing their views and their own lived experience.


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