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Film and TV sector careers aspirational, but unrealistic say school leavers

New research from the Association of Accounting Technicians reveals more than half of school leavers are interested in pursuing a career in the TV and film industry, but only 18 per cent believe it’s a realistic aim 

Two thirds (67 per cent) of UK school leavers believe the only career opportunities within the film and TV industry are acting and creative roles, suggesting that millions of school children aren’t getting the counsel they need in order to make knowledgeable career decisions.

These are the findings of new research from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) showing that despite more than half of school leavers (53 per cent) being interested in pursuing a career in the TV and film industry (59 per cent of which are interested in learning more about behind the scenes roles), only 18 per cent believe it is realistic for them, with 71 per cent thinking the sector is too difficult to get into unless through connections.

Although the research’s focus was primarily to highlight the lack of awareness for accountancy careers, it again backs up the notion that more needs to be done to promote the variety of career options available in media and entertainment to young people in the formative stages of their academic development.

Sarah Beale, CEO at AAT, said: “It’s worrying that so many school leavers don’t feel they are getting the advice needed to help them make informed career decisions; especially at a time when many are keen to explore alternative routes to university and avoid hefty sums of debt.”

Last year, a record £6.27 billion was spent on film and high-end television production in the UK, giving 122,000 people a job. The research appears to suggest a healthy appetite (59 per cent) for information about off-screen industry roles from the demographic that will form our next generation of talent and leaders, which makes the endeavours of organisations such as Rise in this area so important.

The research for AAT was carried out online by Opinion Matters amongst a panel of 1,002 “career starters” aged 14-18.