17 Young People Reveal Their Hopes and Fears for Life in 2050

Young people today expect to be working well into the second half of this century but think technology will change the sorts of jobs they will be doing, new research shows.

Students at Plymouth College of Art, City College Plymouth and Skills Group were asked how they see their careers progressing and how they will be affected by an ever-changing workplace and technological advances.

And they were all convinced they would be still working when they reach their fifties and also that the work they will be doing is likely to be very different from today, possibly with more self-employment, more technology, more regulation, more working from home – but fewer collars and ties.

Olivia Pritchard, a 17-year-old who is a business administration apprentice, with Skills Group, is expecting technology to play a part in her future and said: “Yes, I think I will still be working in my fifties and I am hoping to progress through the organisation into a management position. I think the workplace will be very different by then and will be radically affected by technology.”

Jak Burgess, aged 22, is a bricklaying apprentice, with Skills Group, said: “Yes, I hope I will be still be working in bricklaying when I am in my fifties, but I think that there will be a lot of changes and health and safety will become even more rigorous.”

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School