Just one-in-seven young people considering apprenticeships or employment, new research suggests

Up to 7,000 people are expected to attend the Skills Northern Ireland careers fair in TEC Belfast
Ryan McAleer

JUST one-in-seven young people from the north are considering pursing an apprenticeship or employment, a new survey suggests.

The research by Dr Deirdre Hughes, found that just 36 per cent of young people turn to their parents for careers advice, while 35 per cent fear there may not be enough jobs available to them when they leave school.

The report, based on the feedback of 920 young people from Northern Ireland, will be presented on Wednesday morning ahead of a two-day event focus on skills for 14-19 year-olds.

Up to 7,000 people are expected to pass through the doors of the Titanic Exhibition Centre over the next two days, where more than 70 organistions will set up stands to provide information on career choices, apprenticeships, courses and training opportunities.

It's the fourth year of the careers fair, organised by Prospect Events. The Somerset events company says it has the support of the Department for the Economy. The exhibition is sponsored by NIE Networks.

Commenting on her research, Dr Hughes said: “It's encouraging to find 60 per cent of young people had an idea about the career they would like to follow after completing their education.

“An encouraging 71 per cent were confident about securing their ideal job – this demonstrates optimism and hope for their future lives. However, there are some who are genuinely concerned about not having the skills, qualifications or experience to get a foothold into work. The numbers considering apprenticeships and employment is indicative of a potential skills shortage in the future.”

Gabrielle McEvans, project manager of Skills Northern Ireland added: “This is the fourth year of the event. Following its massive success last year, we're bringing together more than 70 organisations and expecting over 7,000 pre-booked visitors over the two days. There's a huge appetite for it, both from the students' perspective and from the employers' point of view.

“Skills Northern Ireland is the ideal platform for companies wishing to target young people, whether that is to promote courses, apprenticeships, work experience or job opportunities. It's also an opportunity to engage with the teachers and careers advisers who influence the career decisions of our future generation.”

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