By Daniel Hunter

Latest findings from the Barclays Youth Barometer have revealed that more than one in four (26%) 14-25 year olds want to run their own business when they leave school, which if realised, would create a potential source of innovation and productivity.

However, this generation expect to face barriers in starting their careers, with six in 10 (61%), thinking it will be harder to get a job on leaving in school in the next six months compared to now. Furthermore, nearly three quarters (72%) don’t believe they will achieve their work ambitions.

The Barclays Youth Barometer, which tracks the aspirations of young people for the future, found that more than one in 10 (11%) 14-25 year olds believe that businesses, through providing work experience, are the one group which needs to do more to help them realise their ambitions.

The research follows last week’s launch by Barclays of LifeSkills, a major new curriculum linked education programme which aims by 2015 to equip one million young people with the skills they need for work and connect them with work experience opportunities. Barclays is inviting business, schools and government to work together to remove the barriers young people face in moving from school to work.

When it comes to gaining skills and experience to help make the step from education to the work place, four in 10 (42%) of those young people who completed work experience said it was very useful. Nearly a third (32%) of young people thought that an apprenticeship was the best way to start a career.

“The Barclays Youth Barometer offers a unique insight into the level of ambition our young people have. The challenge faced by business, government and education providers is to ensure this ambition can be realised by creating the opportunities they need when they start their careers," Ashok Vaswani, Chief Executive, Barclays Retail and Business Banking said.

“We understand that only by equipping young people with the right skills and quality work experience will we enable young people to reach their potential. It’s why businesses, government, and schools have to work in partnership to achieve lasting improvements in the journey young people take from school to work.”

During 2013, LifeSkills aim is to make 50,000 work experience opportunities available. Barclays will provide at least 6,000 opportunities and is encouraging businesses of all sizes across the UK to get involved. Waitrose, Centrica, ISS and McDonald’s will be working together with Barclays on LifeSkills to help unlock work experience opportunities for 14-16 year olds.

Barclays is also working in partnership with plotr, a new industry-led and government backed careers platform, which will extend the reach of the LifeSkills programme through their partners and tie it in with other employability resources. Young people who complete the LifeSkills modules will be able to access work experience opportunities from the many businesses who are part of the plotr community, who in turn will benefit from a pool of candidates who have completed basic work skills learning.

LifeSkills created with Barclays, builds on the successful Barclays Apprenticeship Programme which has already recruited 600 young people. This week Barclays announced the recruitment of a further 1,000 apprentices to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week. Together, these elements demonstrate Barclays commitment to supporting young people from education to employment.

To inspire people to get involved, businesswoman Karren Brady, TV and radio presenter Jameela Jamil, sports personality Colin Jackson and founder of Nails Inc. Thea Green have been recruited to call on business, schools, government and young people through the Let’s Go To Work initiative, to help transform the opportunities available. All are passionate about supporting young people to achieve their potential.

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