How can we help strengthen the work ethic and raise ambition and aspirations in our young people?

Facilitators: Martin Boddy (UWE)
Peter Warren (Avon and Somerset Constabulary)


Focus on the work ethic or lack of ambitions puts the blame on young people .. who may be discouraged, poorly advised etc.

Young people may lack strong role models – no family support, teachers who do not inspire, low participation in Higher education (HE).

Most important is clear advice and guidance.  Career Pilot website – not just HE other opportunities are always important.

Wages for apprenticeships; do not always inspire ambition.

Particular issues for those who aren’t going to shine at interview including those with special needs


We challenge the assumptions underlying the question that young people need to strengthen their work ethic, ambition and aspiration although obviously there are some.

Recognition by educators and employers of young people that are not following an academic route as many roles do not need degrees.  It’s become a culture where everyone needs a degree.  This culture needs to change as many roles can be successful and develop without one.

Rather than just looking at academic experience, do projects that work with people/young people in different ways e.g. local projects to improve/enhance their ambitions through community projects where they lead and develop issues within their areas.