Friday 03 October 2014


- 83% of young people in Further Education have considered going to work/study abroad when they finish their FE course

- More than 90% would like to work with people from other countries. But only 24% feel they’ve currently got the skills to do it.

- Almost half of people in FE feel that going abroad would make them more employable

- Less than 20% of young people found that overseas options were presented to them equal to UK options – almost a third got no info at all, and half of the respondents felt that there wasn’t as much information on overseas opportunities as there was for the UK

 A new survey by Aspect Market Research for the British Council has found that UK students in Further Education are looking overseas to gain new skills. Almost half (47%) believe there are more opportunities to work abroad than in the UK, and the same number believe that studying or working overseas will help them get a job when they come back to the UK.

 The survey, published by the British Council to mark the start of its #takeontheworld campaign, found that although young people in the UK have a very outgoing mindset, a third received no information at all about overseas opportunities from careers advisory services, and half of the respondents felt there wasn’t as much information on overseas opportunities as there was for the UK.

John Worne, British Council Director of Strategy, said: “Working, studying or volunteering abroad is one of the most enriching and valuable experiences a young person can have – it was for me, and changed my entire life and career. Even a short experience can create life-long benefits.  Our study confirms that young people agree, but feel they don’t have the skills or the knowledge to go about it. That’s tragic. There’s a world of opportunities to study, work and create abroad out there, but we’ve all got more to do to give UK young people the advice and confidence to make the most of them.”

“We might have expected to see these types of ‘stay-at-home’ statistics 50 or 60 years ago but not in today’s globally connected employment, business and academic climate.  It’s imperative that UK young people are encouraged to explore the many international options available to them to help them develop their true potential and make their most of their life chances. This British Council campaign seizes on that and aims to gives young people the confidence to make the decision that they will take the plunge and go abroad and information on how to do it” Worne added.

Jack Saunders, aged 22 from Essex, is a presenter on Kerrang radio in London. He won a prize to work at Ibero 90.9 in Mexico City.  Commenting on the competition and working abroad, Jack said: “The experience I gained when I was in Mexico was unbelievable.  Living and working in a different culture helped me enormously so when I got home it gave me the confidence to put together a demo tape and send it off to Kerrang.  Within three weeks I had an interview and got the job of presenting my very own show.  Life’s all about seizing opportunities when they come your way, and making the most of it. I would advise any young person to think about working or entering into education abroad.  It helps with your self belief, plus you meet so many new friends.  It opens up new opportunities that you never thought existed.”

When questioned about the worst things they have had to do a get a job the responses included zero hours contracts, 10 hour shifts without a break, numerous unpaid internships and constant rejection with no feedback from potential employers.

Notes to Editor

*Study carried out among 1,000 young people across the UK September 2014 – Aspect Marketing Research

For a copy of the full research report/further information on #takeontheworld or to arrange an interview with John Worne or Jack Saunders please contact Catherine Webber at or call 07798 801610

#takeontheworld is an innovative new multimedia campaign from the British Council designed to inspire young people to become more global in their outlook by experiencing life in a different country.  The British Council's goal is to help young people broaden their horizons and ultimately make themselves more employable.

The campaign is centred around Youtube interviews with a number of well-know 'Ambassadors' providing their own personal 'take' on the worlds sharing their own journeys and stories and also offering advice to young people who might find the prospect of working or studying overseas a little daunting. 

A challenge is then laid down for young people to form their own team (with the help of teachers or youth workers) and go out to film their own interviews with whoever they can find that has a great international story to tell.  Video has become the new language of social media and British council is encouraging the audience to rely simply on their camera phone to shoot their interviews.

The winning interview, judged by the Ambassadors will be rewarded with a once in a lifetime study tour of New York, designed especially for the team, and managed and funded by the British Council to take place in February 2014.

Full advice, guidance and support for entering the competition has been specially created by the British Council to encourage the learning of new skills by the young people who take part in the campaign.


The campaign has the support of a number of high profile Ambassadors from the worlds of sport, entertainment, business, leisure and social media, together with two young people who have boosted their career as a result of taking up an international opportunity with the British Council. 

The Ambassadors will also be supporting the campaign via their own social media channels.