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“Self Service Generation” Turn to YouTube for Advice

  • 15% of school children use YouTube for careers information
  • Marked decrease in traditional sources of careers advice leaves a void in reliable information
  • New Your Life YouTube channel launched to help teens find inspiring careers guidance

A new “self service generation” of young people are spurning traditional sources of jobs advice in favour of family, friends and the internet according to new research [1].

The figures reveal that over half a million 11-15 year olds (15%) are now searching for careers information on YouTube. [2]

While parents are the main source of careers advice (66%), a quarter of school children speak to their friends for careers information, 27% use Google and 12% use other social media networks.

More traditional sources of advice are becoming less popular, with just a third (32%) of young people seeking information about jobs from a careers adviser and 62% speaking to teachers about plans for the future – 12% less than three years ago.

In 2012, research by YouGov for education company Pearson [3] revealed that back then 70% of 11-15 year old’s went to teachers for careers advice.

Ofsted have since found that three quarters of schools are not implementing their duty to provide impartial careers advice effectively [4] and the CBI claim 80% of employers don’t believe schools deliver good enough careers advice [5].

Entrepreneur Edwina Dunn, Chair of the Your Life campaign, which seeks to encourage young people to take Maths and Physics at A Level, commented:

“We’re seeing the unstoppable rise of a self-service generation. Young people want answers about their future and they want them now. They no longer want to be told what they should be doing with their lives by adults with out-of -date information about careers of old.  They want to know where doors are open, where the best and most rewarding jobs are and, what subjects they need to study for a fast-track career.”

To help fill the current void in careers advice, Your Life has launched a new YouTube channel to provide students, parents and teachers with up-to-date information and careers inspiration with a particular focus on maths and physics.

Recent figures from industry regulator Ofcom suggest that as many as eight in ten school children have used YouTube, with 11-15 year olds watching an average of 33 minutes of online film content every day. [6]

The Your Life channel, which is backed by business and supported by Government, will provide an inspiring range of content. This includes:

  • Interviews with inspiring ambassadors, such Mark Adams, Senior Vice President & Head of Innovation at VICE Media
  • Behind the scenes footage with some of the nation’s most exciting employers  – from major corporates to the latest and best start-ups
  • Unexpected ways to make Maths and Physics more interesting – even the homework

Dunn continued:

“Rather than out-of-date careers advice, we need to highlight exactly where jobs are plentiful and talent is missing.  20 years after the McKinsey report on ‘The War For Talent,’ we have reached an impasse where young people have the wrong skills for the thousands of jobs lying vacant. Schools and universities must be better aligned with industry so that students are encouraged to take subjects to develop the skills that businesses desperately need, not what league tables and targets dictate. At the heart of the solution to the problem is careers inspiration in our schools. This can take many forms, including YouTube films and vlogs, to an employer talk or the surprising use of Maths and Physics in a lesson. We expect the Your Life YouTube channel to help lift young people’s ambitions and help them seek out new and exciting careers.”

For more information on the Your Life campaign visit


During Nathan’s early career, he gained considerable experience from across many industries including Sales, Teaching and Retail, however more recently Nathan has delved into the world Digital Marketing and Publishing. Drawing on his past experiences, Nathan brings all aspects of his knowledge into Recruitment Buzz, possessing great research and social media skills.

Born and bred in Wales, Nathan is as Welsh as they come – living in the heart of the Valleys, Nathan proudly takes place as our resident Welsh speaker. However, Nathan’s knowledge of global understanding exceeds the Welsh borders, having lived in London, parts of the US and Ecuador.

Nathan is a self-proclaimed geek, having gained a degree in Natural Science via the Open University in Wales. In addition to his passion for science, he has a love for technology, nature, art and of course football!


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