Launching: ‘What Skills Will Young People Need For Work in 2030?’ Campaign

1 March 2018

Today our campaign launches bringing together 30 of the UK’s top figures on the topic of #Skills2030. We will be running special features with our media partner, the i newspaper, all month. See the press release below, and see the main feature here.

Students aware they need to build top-rate skills, but almost 1/3 fear a lack of networks and work experience will hold them back

  • 38% of the students think a lack of work experience opportunities will stop them from being successful in the future
  • 33% of the respondents stated they don’t have access to work experience through people they know, with 13% stating they have access but it wouldn’t be ‘good quality’
  • 29% of the respondents feel not knowing the right people would stop them from succeeding in the future
  • 71% of the respondents believe it would be more difficult to get a job in 2030 compared to now due to the automation of jobs

Today’s findings in a recent YouGov survey, commissioned by the education charity Speakers for Schools, show that 11-18 year olds are aware of how jobs might change in 2030, but worried about their barriers to gaining skills. In their responses, 70% of students aged 11-18 in secondary education, sixth form or college said they were aware of automation affecting jobs by the year 2030, but thought their education background (23%) not having enough money in their family (34%) and lack of self-confidence in their abilities (47%) were some of the top barriers to being successful in future. The survey also showed that more than half of the students (55%) believe in 2030 jobs would require more technical skills but still saw ‘creativity’, ‘communication’ and ‘problem-solving’ as top skills important to their future success.


The survey marks the launch of Speakers for Schools’ national campaign, What skills will young people need for work in 2030? (#Skills2030). As part of the campaign, the charity is working with 30 of the UK’s leading figures from business, tech and culture who will each give a talk at a state school, sharing insights and advice to students on how to develop their future careers. The talk series feeds into an important, on-going discussion about how young people can best prepare for an evolving job market and what skills are considered fundamental by today’s leaders.


Set up by ITV’s Robert Peston in 2011 to help level the playing field for state schools students through access to the UK’s leading figures, the charity has launched the campaign to highlight the ways in which today’s influential figures can be directly supporting young people through their own time or that of their business.


Ambassador speakers supporting the campaign include Karen Blackett (MediaCom UK), Baroness (Shami) Chakrabarti (Shadow Attorney General), Bruce Daisley (Twitter), Jayne-Anne Gadhia (Virgin Money), Andy Haldane (Bank of England), Dr Tristram Hunt (V&A Museum), Baroness (Martha) Lane Fox (, Brian McBride (ASOS), Sir Anthony Seldon (University of Buckingham), Farrah Storr (Cosmopolitan), Sharon White (OfCom) and more.


Robert Peston, Founder of Speakers for Schools and ITV Political Editor said:
“Speakers for Schools and S4SNextGen are dedicated to working with students so that they acquire the confidence, experience and knowledge to aim for the top. As the students themselves recognise, the industrial revolution we are experiencing has made it more important than ever that we all do what we can to helping young people make the most of themselves – and that is what our Skills 2030 campaign is all about”. 


Andrew Law, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Speakers for Schools and Chairman and CEO Caxton Associates said:
“The results of the survey demonstrate clearly the widespread career concerns of students today. Lack of self-confidence and family background are the students’ key areas of perceived weakness. Speakers for Schools and S4SNextGen tackle these issues head-on. We are incredibly grateful for all those speakers and companies participating in our work.”

Statement of Aims – our next generation manifesto

Speakers for Schools is calling on the UK’s leading figures and their companies to join us in helping young people obtain the skills they will crucially need in 2030. The campaign is calling for:

  • Fairer access to work experience: We are calling on sector-leading employers to join the charity in opening up work experience to state school students, via our dedicated platform S4SNextGen.
  • Inspiring conversations in state schools: We are urging the UK’s leading figures to join Speakers for Schools in directly engaging young people through talks that will inspire and encourage them to cultivate skills essential for a successful professional future.
  • Including young people: We are encouraging young people to actively share their aspirations, concerns and questions with the country’s leaders to help foster a wider dialogue in state schools across the UK.

To find out more about how you or your organisation can help, visit


The campaign advocates for more firms to open up opportunities to state school students by offering work experience via the charity’s new programme, S4SNextGen. Responding to whether or not they had access to quality work experience through their connections, 33% of the 11-18 year old students said they do not have any access to work experience and 13% had access to some, but not ‘good quality’ work experience.  This was echoed by 58% of 18-year olds who see a lack of access to work experience specifically as a barrier to future success.

The Skills 2030 campaign aims to encourage more leading firms across the UK to recognise the role of work experience in helping give students required insights and skills for their future job prospects and see how they can work with the charity to help.





Notes to Editors

Speakers supporting the campaign and talk series include:

Zanny Minton Beddoes (London)

Karen Blackett (London)

Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz (Cambridge)

Matt Brittin (Croydon)

Baroness (Shami) Chakrabarti (Essex)

Bruce Daisley (Manchester)

David Dein (London)

Rajeeb Dey (Havering)

Jayne-Anne Gadhia (Glasgow)

Neil Glover (Mansfield)

Dr Doug Gurr (Yorkshire)

Andy Haldane (Stoke-on-Trent)

Baroness (Dido) Harding

Tim Harford (Oxford)

Christine Hodgson (London)

Dr Tristram Hunt (Sheffield)

Danny Jones (London)

Edward Kemp (Leeds)

Sir Richard Lambert (West Midlands)

Baroness (Martha) Lane Fox (London)

Dr Mike Lynch (Essex)

Liam Maxwell (Oxfordshire)

Brian McBride (Glasgow)

Baroness (Ruby) McGregor-Smith (London)

Geoff Mulgan (Luton)

Roland Rudd (London)

Sir Anthony Seldon (Solihull)

Dame Cilla Snowball (Greenwich)

Farrah Storr (Salford)

Jimmy Wales (London)

Tom Weldon (Birmingham)

Sharon White (London)


About Speakers for Schools

Speakers for Schools is a UK charity launched in 2011 helping state schools inspire their students and broaden horizons through access to the insights, experiences and expertise of today’s leading figures through free talks and more — free of charge.

Speakers for Schools was founded by Robert Peston and has facilitated over 4,400 free school talks to date, reaching over 450,000 young people across the UK. Chaired by Andrew Law with a board of trustees, it is wholly funded by the Law Family Charitable Foundation. Visit to find out more about how you can get involved today.

In 2017, the charity launched S4SNextGen, its portal connecting state schools with speakers’ esteemed companies to offer work experience and related placements to those students who need it the most: We now have hundreds of placements opening up with top employer for invaluable student workplace experiences.


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 991 children, of which 902 were in secondary education, sixth form, or college. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd – 27th February 2018.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB children aged 11-18 years old.

YouGov is an international, full-service market research agency and is the pioneer of market research through online methods. Our suite of syndicated, proprietary data products includes: BrandIndex, the daily brand perception tracker; Profiles, our new tool for media planning, market segmentation and forecasting; and Reports which provide comprehensive market intelligence on a range of sectors. The market-leading YouGov Omnibus provides a fast and cost- effective service for obtaining answers to research questions from both national and selected samples. Our custom research business conducts a wide range of quantitative and qualitative research, tailored to our specialist teams to meet our clients’ specific requirements.

YouGov has a panel of 3 million people worldwide, including over 600,000 people in the UK representing all ages, socio-economic groups and other demographic types.

As the most quoted market research agency in the UK, YouGov has a well-documented and published track record illustrating the accuracy of its survey methods.

For further information visit