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52% of young adults look for work-life balance in job, UK survey finds

By Nina Massey, Press Association Education Correspondent

The majority of young people in the UK feel a work-life balance is the most important factor in choosing a job after the salary.

A survey of 18 to 25-year-olds across France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and the UK was conducted ahead of the World Innovation Summit for Education (Wise) in Paris this week.

It found that 52% of those questioned in the UK said they look for work-life balance when choosing a job - higher than in any other country questioned.

However, only 43% said they believed the education system had prepared them for work, with only the French having a lower opinion of their education system (37%).

The research conducted by Ipsos found that, despite Brexit, young people in the UK are more optimistic about their futures in the workplace particularly concerning technology, workplace values and management initiatives.

The majority of young people (77%) across the countries surveyed, recruiters (70%) and education stakeholders (74%) feel prepared for what many consider to be the fourth industrial revolution.

Andreas Schleicher, head of the Directorate of Education and Skills at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said companies like Google and Facebook are challenging education.

He added: "In the past, before Google, if you did not know the answer to a question, you could look into an encyclopaedia and it was true.

"On Google you find 100 answers to your question, and no one tells you if it's right or wrong.

"The capacity of young people to navigate and to understand the complexity, this is the challenge of those technologies."

The young people surveyed said computer skills (including coding) and the ability to interact with artificial intelligence tools will be the most important skills at work in the next 10 years.

More than two in five (44%) cite them as the most important to develop, while only 26% of recruiters and 27% of education stakeholders do so.

- The survey questioned 2,517 young Europeans aged 18-25, including 503 in the UK, and 321 recruiters across the five countries.