Great Expectation Research report

Great Expectations Research

Great Expectations Research

Great Expectations is City & Guilds research into the career aspirations of 14-19 year olds and the jobs market between now and 2022.

The Great Expectations report of the findings was originally launched in November 2015 and updated in August 2016. It looks at areas such as types of jobs young people are interested in, their salary expectations, the role of work experience, careers advice and the route they intend to take to get to their dream job.

In the report, we have compared the findings of the research with labour market predictions provided by economic modellers EMSI. This enabled us to demonstrate differences between young people’s aspirations and the job opportunities between now and 2022.


How can this research help you?

If you’re an education provider, it will help you plan your curriculum by highlighting where the jobs will be in your area, and will also help with careers advice.

If you’re a young person, or parent, it will help you understand the realities of the jobs market, and which industries will be most needed in your area.

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Great Expectations: report highlights

  • The importance of work experience: Only 28% of 14-19 year olds surveyed thought that work experience was important, whilst City & Guilds found that 78% of employers surveyed think it is essential
  • Lack of understanding where the jobs will be: Between 2015 and 2022, the total number of available jobs will be 9.6m (increasing by 1.4m), but young people are not aware of the right jobs: 26% of respondents said they would consider working in professional, scientific and technical activities, but the proportion of people forecast to be working in this sector is just 9%
  • The role of university: A large majority (68%) of our 14-19 year old respondents told us that they are planning to go to university, yet only 30% of the available jobs are likely to be at graduate level
  • Gender differences: It’s clear that there are still big gender differences. The salary expectations of men and women varied considerably, with men predicting they’d earn an average of £44,124 whilst women went for a much lower £36, 876. Read more about our findings in gender differences in
    Telegraph, The Independent, Daily Mail, The Metro

Kirstie Donnelly

“Young people are optimistic but…”

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, Managing Director, City & Guilds

“The findings of the research are concerning but not entirely unexpected. Young people are optimistic but often not prepared for the realities of the UK jobs market. While steps are being taken to improve careers advice for those still in education, much more needs to be done. We need to change our education system to make it truly responsive to employer needs and ensure that every young person has the chance to follow their own path to career success.”


How young people’s aspirations match up to the job market

There are some significant mismatches in the industries that young people aspire to work in and where the jobs will be:

  • 26% of respondents said they would consider working in professional, scientific and technical activities, whereas the proportion of people working in this sector in the forecast for 2022 is actually just 9%
  • 19% of respondents cited information and communication as a possible career area, yet the proportion of people currently working in this sector is 4%, and is set to remain at 4% in 2022
  • Just 3% of respondents said they would consider working in the wholesale and retail trade or repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, yet collectively these sectors will employ 15% of the labour market in 2022


How young people’s aspirations match up to the job market 

What will your local jobs market look like in 2022?

An output of our Great Expectations research is an interactive map developed in partnership with EMSI showing predicted annual job openings per region                     from 2014-2022.

The research has shown that the number of available jobs is expected to continue to grow between 2015 and 2022, rising by 1,388,007 in this timeframe.

For education centres, this map will help you determine skills requirements for your local area and which programmes might have a high demand. 

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