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    Careers conundrum?

    I read a great article recently in a back copy of the TES magazine, in which a number of children were asked about their aspirations for the future. Their answers were very sweet - but it highlighted a real problem.

    The children were asked what they would like to do, or be, when they grow up. A standard question asked by countless parents, aunties, uncles, grannies and teachers every day. Their answers were fairly predictable - some of them wanted to be pop-starts, actors, footballers teachers and so on - but there were some more interesting answers. What struck me, however, was their answers to the question, 'have you ever met someone who does that job?'. The vast majority said no, they hadn't.

    I think this is indicative of the careers advice provided by schools - it's very limited and in places almost non-existent. Lots of schools, especially secondary schools, are now trying to engage with local businesses by inviting them into school to talk to pupils about their business and roles, but I think more schools, including primary schools, should be doing this. There needs to be better links between education and industry and people who are self-employed and run their own companies have a wealth of knowledge and expertise that they could pass on to young people. 

    There's no better way to give children and young people inspiration about jobs and careers than by introducing them to the people who actually do them. And it's worth remembering that the only way children will find out about the increasingly wide range of opportunities out there is by talking to them about them. I'd really love to see more businesses and individuals taking the time to visit schools to do this.

    If you would like to visit local schools to talk to pupils about what you do, we can help. We'd love to list you on School Visits Network. Click here to become a member for free.

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