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Asian graduates say families influence job choices

Published on 26/10/2009

In a poll carried out on university campuses across the UK, 24 percent of British-Asian students said their families have a significant influence on their choice of career. This is much higher than for White British people where only 9 percent said their families had a significant influence on their choice of career.

The responses of the British-Asian students ranged from those who went as far as to put their families’ wishes ahead of their own and going with the career their parents’ suggested to those who said their family’s views strongly influenced their decision (18 percent).

Only 32 percent of British-Asian graduates said their families had had no influence on their choice of career at all – compared to almost half (47 percent) of White-British.

Faisal Sheikh, a programme manager at Tesco.com and a spokesperson for the Tesco Asian Network said: “With families having such a significant influence on Asian Graduates career choice, Tesco realises the importance of getting this message out to them. As a result, the Asian Network is working on a number of promotional activities in 2009 aimed not only at Graduates, but at their parents as well. We’re developing a careers brochure for graduate jobs aimed at parents and grandparents. Members of the Asian Network will attend graduate careers fairs to talk to parents as well as students.”

When Tesco asked British-Asian parents and grandparents what careers they would prefer their children to go into, most popular were traditional careers such as Medicine (24 percent), Law (19 percent), and Accountancy (14 percent). Retail did not feature in their thinking.

Tesco is a FTSE 20 company, and the largest private sector employer in the UK. Although the stores are the public side of the business, Tesco employs lawyers, accountants, IT and professionals, as well as pharmacists, architects and opticians.

Faisal Sheikh, continued, “We know many Asian students aren’t aware of the potential benefits of a career in Retail. For instance, most Asian graduates think they could earn between 50,000 and 75,000 GBP a year after 10 or 15 years with Tesco. But senior managers who have been with us that long can take home 75,000 to £100,000 GBP. This research suggests parents and grandparents have some of the same misconceptions. Our concern is that they remember retailing from twenty years ago, which is very different to retailing today.

“We employ hundreds of thousands of people, working in almost every profession you can think of – including some of those traditional careers like law and accountancy that British-Asian parents are keener to see their children and grandchildren go into. Not only is there the opportunity to pursue these traditional careers but – due to the size and diversity of a company like Tesco – people are also able to change career if they feel they want a different experience. Many of the more traditional firms just can’t offer that.”

There are approximately 23,500 British-Asians working for Tesco in the UK, out of a total of 286,392 employees – 8.2% of the national workforce.

October 2009


EthnicNow/ Expatica