Majority of Yorkshire's young people believe they will have to retrain at some stage in their career

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The majority of young people in Yorkshire believe they will have to retrain at some stage in their career, research shows.

On the day that thousands of young people collect their A Level results, young people believe they will have to upskill to prepare for the future job market, with 58 per cent saying they believe they will have to retrain at some stage in their career.

Start ups

Start ups

A rise in automation and a rapidly eveolving economy were among the reasons cited for the mindset.

The new analysis of attitudes among young people towards their future careers has also found that 42 per cent of 16-24-year olds based in Yorkshire and the Humber have the ambition to set up their own business during their working life.

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Fifty eight per cent of young people in Yorkshire said that they feel that starting their own business is an accessible option for them as a career choice based on their social background.


Asked about what the most important factors are in setting up their own business, having enough money to get started is seen as one of the top priorities (39 per cent).

Young people in Yorkshire and the Humber are also willing to consider taking significant steps in order to create the opportunity to be able to work for the brand or company they are passionate about. More than half (58%) said they are willing to gain a new qualification such as a degree, while 45% would be prepared to change career and 40% would undertake an apprenticeship.

When it comes to the skills required for starting a business, 43 per cent of the young people in Yorkshire and the Humber surveyed identified financial management skills as the most important skill followed by leadership skills (36 per cent) and communication/negotiation skills (29 per cent).

Looking at the national level, young women in the UK are just as determined as young men to set up their own businesses one day – 42 per cent vs 44 per cent, while almost half (49 per cent) of young people from a lower socio-economic background want to start their own business compared to 46% from a middle socio-economic background and 44 per cent with a higher socio-economic background.


The findings come from a survey commissioned by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians), and conducted by Survation. AAT is the world’s leading professional body for accounting technicians with 130,000 members globally providing accountancy, tax and business advisory services.

Adam Harper, Director of Strategy and Professional Standards, AAT said: “It’s great to see that young people in Yorkshire and the Humber have the ambition to start their own business irrespective of their background. Despite the prevailing barriers to social mobility, the next generation of workers have an entrepreneurial spirit that supersedes these. With the rise of the gig economy, flexible working environments, SME numbers and digital opportunities, young people are increasingly living in a world where they may view their only limitation as the scale of their own ambition.

“It’s crucial that we support young people’s ambitions by providing them with the solid foundations and transferable skills they need to succeed in whatever career they choose, particularly when they are looking to start a business themselves. 43% of those in the region who wish to start their own business correctly identified the need for financial management skills as being of great importance. At AAT we equip thousands of people with real-world accounting qualifications which will help them in their chosen industry, from engineering to fashion to football – as every sector needs financial skills.”

Gig economy

Surprisingly, despite continued growth in the gig economy and the rate with which individuals are changing jobs, only a third (37%) of the young people from Yorkshire and the Humber surveyed currently expect to change their job once or twice during their working lifetime, while 15% expect to change their job three times during their working lifetime. Interestingly, 7% of young people from the region believe they will never change the company they work for.

Meanwhile, when it comes to changing career, 1-in-3 expect to change careers twice during their working lifetime (29%), dropping to 14% for those that expect this to happen three times. Around 1-in-6 (15%) believe they will change career once, with 8% not expecting to change career at all.

Adam Harper continued: “Switching career means that people will need to consider the transferrable skills that they have and how they can take them on a new career path. Building a portfolio of different skills, as well as new qualifications and training can help people to make the transition.”

“A qualification in finance not only prepares young people for the future but unlocks the door to an abundance of career opportunities. Every sector out there needs core financial skills and accountancy, and you are not necessarily tied to working in the finance services industry. AAT’s members work across a broad range of industries across all sectors. For those receiving their A Level results this week, they really do have the world of opportunities at their feet.”