Independent school students have a far clearer idea of the careers they want to pursue thanks to regular careers advice from their school whilst state and academy school students are ‘left in limbo’, according to new research from Adecco.

The research, which explored the views of 14 year-olds across the education sector in the UK, revealed that 45% of independent school students receive regular careers guidance from their school, compared to just 13% of students in state schools and 14% of students in academy schools.

The research also highlighted that there is a huge gulf between the advice public and private sector students receive from businesses and potential employers. 57% of independent school students had received help or guidance from external businesses or employees about what to expect when they start a job, compared to just 25% of state school and 29% of academy students.

Consequently, independent school students have clearer career goals than state school or academy school students. Whilst 45% of the independent schools students polled knew which profession or industry they would like to work in, just 21% of state school and 25% of academy students knew what they wanted to do after leaving school.

However, the research revealed that students are desperate to get this advice. 95% of the students polled stated that they would benefit from advice from local businesses or employees, with a further 93% stating that the careers advice they had been given had been helpful.

Ms. Alex Fleming, Managing Director at Adecco Retail, said: “In today’s tough job environment it is vital that students are properly prepared for their life post-education. Careers advice plays a key role in ensuring this, whether that’s delivered by schools or employers.

“Worryingly our research shows that there is a clear discrepancy in the careers advice given to students at independent and state schools. Just one in ten state school pupils receive regular careers advice, compared to around half of independent school students.

“Schools and employers across the UK need to work together to plug this gap to ensure that all students have equal access to the guidance they need. Not only will this help to give students a clearer idea of what profession they want to follow after school, but it will also give them direct access to the businesses and employers that they may be working with in the future.”