Young people are increasingly choosing vocational education as a way to secure their "dream" job, according to a survey commissioned by qualifications body City & Guilds.
More than three quarters (78 per cent) of 18-24-year-olds said they seek vocational training to progress their careers, while only 39 per cent look to academic qualifications, the poll of 1,100 young people found.
Some 39 per cent identified industry-specific training and apprenticeships as steps towards better jobs, while just under a third look to on-the-job training.
The special ‘Millennials Edition’ of City & Guilds’ annual Career Happiness Index, which was launched today, was carried out by an independent research agency and canvassed young people nationwide about their experiences in the workplace.
The survey also shows that vocational experience pays off, as a third of those surveyed gained their current job after work experience in the field.
Chris Jones, CEO of City & Guilds said: “Vocational education is not a second class route for those who don’t succeed academically. In fact, our research proves that hard-working and ambitious young people are choosing vocational education as a way to achieve their dream job.
“The findings show that employers must not underestimate young people. Instead, they need to step up and support young people’s ambitions and provide opportunities for development and future career satisfaction.”
The poll also reveals that parents are the biggest influence on young people’s careers choices.
More than a third of those surveyed were motivated to choose their current job by their parents, compared to only 4 per cent who were inspired by celebrities, and 8 per cent by employers.
Parents are also the primary source for careers advice, used by 24 per cent of young people.
Mr Jones said this was not surprising, and accused careers advice in schools of being “inadequate” and “failing” young people.
Research by the National Union of Students last week found that careers advice was lacking in the area of apprenticeships in particular.
Mr Jones said parents need better support and resources to help their children make more informed choices, and urged employers to provide more opportunities so young people can make the most of their potential and find a career that makes them happy.