71% of GenZ school leavers rebuke the path of University favouring travel, volunteering or entering the workforce straight from school as impact, flexibility and connectivity shine through as key values of 16-18 year olds, according to a new survey released today from Pitman Training.

As A-Level and GCSE results come out and thousands of young people across the country continue to make decisions on their futures, the UK’s leading independent training provider Pitman Training – one of the UK’s largest and longest-standing vocational training providers – shares statistics which show that the increasing number of Gen Z school leavers who are choosing to not continue with further education, are doing so because they “want to be making a difference NOW!”

Charged with high levels of self-belief, entrepreneurial spirit, and a global sense of belonging, the survey commissioned by Pitman Training and conducted by Censuswide showed that over half (58%) of 16-18 year olds in the UK are ready to make an impact on the world around them, and they believed that going to university would only slow them down.

Affected by social media, over half (57%) of 16-18 year olds surveyed who will not be pursuing further education feel globally connected and as such their visions around what they can achieve as a global citizen are vast. Often with this comes an impatience to just get on with it, and this could be why over 71% of them are rebuking the path of university favouring instead travel, volunteering or entering the workforce straight from school.

Additionally, the survey showed that 71% of 16-18 year olds who will not be pursuing further education, agreed that their age group is on a mission to make an impact and are keen to enter the workforce to make their mark. In terms of jobs, Gen Z is a laptop generation of a wifi society, with 63% saying they are more likely to be drawn to roles that offer location independent flexible working.

Not driven by money, it seems Gen Z are forward thinkers, set to create their versions of the future and are seeking opportunities and life experiences over high salaries. 75% of those who will not be pursuing further education agreed that their age group is keen to enter the workplace and are prepared to invest themselves in learning to support their career development.

Bethany Hawken is 18 and from Sailsbury – Bethany has decided to take a gap year and work part time whilst looking into volunteering and other career-orientated activities. Bethany agrees with many of the findings in this report, she said: “I feel that the generation I was born into definitely have a desire to push boundaries, and non-conformity somehow seems to be a goal almost. But, going straight to university was clearly unsuitable for me as September drew closer; I found myself to be uninterested in what I had chosen to study and I has already officially changed my course once and felt unsure on my new choice too… so, I decided to cancel my firm offer at Oxford Brookes University.

“I have a passion for makeup and am currently looking at courses that could help build my credibility. I am very active online and plan on creating separate social media accounts to build my brand and advertise my skills. The aim of my gap year is to explore different avenues, follow my interests and then decide which are most attainable career-wise, and which I would enjoy pursuing the most. During this time I may not be changing the world, but I am determined to make a difference in some way through volunteering or charity work.”

Frazer Mitchell Baddams is 24 from Weymouth, Frazer is a young voice for Digipigz who aim to bridge the gap between businesses and the next generation. He believes that university was slowing him down, he said: “I went to University (BIMM in Fulham, London) for 4 weeks, and I realised how much it was going to hold me back. I felt I was wasting my time, and learning things I already knew from years before; being in lectures I didn’t need to be in. I wasn’t challenged enough. I think University is good for some careers, but if you’re a musician, or something creative, I don’t think University is the right way to go. My plans are to build my live music and events business further, by producing bigger shows, organising bigger events, booking big acts in to perform, and helping release some of my artist’s original material to the masses. I plan to change a small part of the world. I’m very passionate about live music, and youth music development, and in the area I work (Yeovil), this is something which is severely lacking, and I want to make a difference.”

Alison Goodwin, Founder of Your Future Self ( which offers Teen Life Coaching and The World of Work Workshops. said; “Let’s face it, being a young adult today can be tough and many are looking for change, inspiration and growth but don’t yet have the tools or know where to look. As a professional recruiter with 25 years industry experience I saw time and time again people feeling stuck in a career path they weren’t happy in. I believe that having some professional guidance and input early on could save people from making mistakes that could ripple throughout their working life. That is why I set up Your Future Self, to help young people age 12-21 to transition into young adults by helping them to build solid foundations for their future, using proven strategies to help them map their goals in all areas of life. I can help position young people in careers that they truly want to be in. Working alongside local education authorities and parents, our mission is to make career advice accessible early in life so that our next generation are inspired to do more and to be more.”

Claire Lister, MD Pitman Training says; “For any young person or student; trying to choose a career path and any subsequent route in further education can be a difficult time. But what this survey revealed to me the most is that GenZ are ready to stand up and be counted and refuse to conform with what has traditionally being ‘the norm’. There is often a perception that opting not to attend university will hamper your career ambitions, this is most definitely not a view we at Pitman Training agree with. We’ve been pleased to note the increasing spotlight placed on the importance of vocational education for young people both whilst in school, and beyond. University obviously has huge benefits and can lead to an excellent career, but the same can be said for vocational education and crucially, the cost of vocational education can be a fraction of the price of university tuition fees. Across our network of training centres we’re seeing an increasing number of students coming to our centres looking for a way to get practical skills they can apply quickly and directly in the workplace.”

A massive 85% of 16-18 year olds who will not be pursuing further education agreed that their age group is increasingly keen on learning real life skills than theoretical knowledge.

Claire continues; “Obviously here at Pitman Training, we are champions of vocational education, but we feel this is with very good reason. Rather than learning just the theory of something, vocational education means you’re gaining actual hands-on, practical skills. In our centres we quite often meet students searching for employment who manage to acquire a position whilst still studying. Employers recognise the benefit and skill-level of people training with us and know that the students they take on will be able to undertake the work required without too much on-the-job training. Vocational training pathways, as opposed to the university/higher education route, can often mean students stand a better chance of attaining their career dreams, doing something they’re genuinely passionate about!”

“At Pitman Training, we don’t believe in training for training’s sake. We like to think that each course, seminar and diploma programme we offer provides a basis for cultivating careers and helping to develop personal skills to get ahead.”

Another tool Pitman Training has for those trying to map out their future is a creative app called ‘CAREER MOT’, which can be taken online or via a mobile device. Developed to help inspire those leaving school, college or university but unsure of what roles would suit them and their skills the app uses a series of psychometric profiling questions, based on the methodologies of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and diagnostic testing creates a detailed, personality report in the form of a certificate, indicating which skills, careers and training requisites would best suit.


Notes to Editor

The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 1,205 UK respondents aged 16+, including 211 respondents aged 16-18 who will not be going into further education in GB between 10.08.2018 – 20.08.2018. The survey was conducted from a random sample of UK adults. Statistics quoted in this press release exclude those who responded “I don’t know”. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.