Young people looking to the Duke’s Award to bag a job this summer

As thousands of young people await their exam results, a survey by youth development charity, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), today reveals that 80 per cent of 16-18 year olds who’ve taken part in the Award believe it will make it easier to get a job, whatever their grades.

In a poll of DofE participants aged 16-18 years old who are expecting AS, A level/Higher or equivalent exam results this month, 60 per cent were confident that they will get the grades they are hoping for. However, three quarters said that they are worried about the current jobs market, despite a recent fall in youth unemployment.

A fifth of those polled said that they undertook their DofE challenge, which, at Gold level takes a minimum of 12 months to complete, because they think that good grades are simply not enough to get into University or secure a job in today’s climate. A further quarter believe that having a DofE Award on their CV will improve their chances of earning a higher salary.

The participants also felt that taking part in the esteemed Award would help them in an interview situation, with half stating that, as a result of their DofE programme, they could demonstrate all five of the ‘employability’ skills and attributes the CBI says businesses value in young recruits: communication, team work, problem solving, self-management and a positive approach to work.

Peter Westgarth, CEO at The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award said:

“These findings demonstrate the importance of helping young people to develop soft skills as well as academic qualities to enable them to feel prepared for the ‘real world’. We all know that it’s tough to be a young person these days and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award aims to help all young people to develop the skills they need to thrive in today’s world, while building self esteem, confidence and resilience.

It is encouraging to see that so many of our Award holders feel that their DofE programme has given them that extra edge over their peers, in fact, a fifth felt that employers would be more impressed by a DofE Award than they would by good grades.

We want to encourage even more schools and academies to come on board with the DofE to allow more young people to achieve their DofE Award and develop those work ready skills which are so highly valued in the workplace.”

There are currently over 300,000 young people participating in a DofE programme across the UK. The DofE is a charity which helps young people aged 14-24 to develop the skills needed for life and work through a unique and personalised programme of development.

To enable more young people to do their DofE, the charity encourages more schools and academies to offer DofE programmes. To find out more about becoming a DofE centre please visit to find your Regional Office and gain further information on how to get involved.

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