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UK schools research

The decisions young people make while still at school and college are critical to their future career path, but how well do employers support them in their journey?

2020 marks the creation of our new research proposition, the 1218 Youth Insight study.

Our updated survey has been designed to ask the right questions to really understand:

  • What’s important to 12–18-year olds now and in the future? Is it finances, lifestyle, giving back to the community?
  • Do the subject choices young people make at school impact their future career aspirations?
  • Who/what has the most influence over the decisions young people make? Is it people they know, their culture and community, aspirations, finances, their future work environment, or the tasks expected of them?
  • How can your messages impact this group effectively in a crowded market?
  • Why are young people still choosing university over apprenticeships? Do apprenticeships still have a bad rep? How can employers help change this perception?

Built with the support of professional bodies, employers, and with responsive insights from young people at school and college, the 1218 Youth Insight study will help you understand how you can better attract, influence and recruit the type of young people you want for your apprenticeships and early career roles.

Research outputs

With a sample size of 20,000 students, we are able to:

  • Segment data by qualification type, school and college type and diversity group (gender, ethnicity, social profile)
  • Present theme-based module results
  • Explore perceptions of your brand or sector
  • Understand why young people choose university over apprenticeships
  • Provide persona group journey mapping of 12–18-year olds.

Focus Groups: Employers can also be part of our regular focus group sessions to hear what young people have to say and ask their own burning questions.


Every project is kicked off with a consultation with our MRS-qualified experts to help us understand your priorities, any issues you are facing, new developments planned and specific questions you would like the research to address. This is then followed by a series of deliverables throughout the year including:

  • Full delivery workshop to key stakeholder group, sharing the full analysis and highlighting key findings
  • Bespoke research report tailored to your organisation
  • Follow up research requests including additional results sessions, datacuts, subject-specific exec summaries etc
  • Year-round support, which could include further desk research, use of DofE data, integration of your own recruitment data, etc.