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But when am I going to use this in real life? The importance of careers advice for children of all ages

Following National Careers Week (NCW), it’s an important time to think about how teachers can continue to inspire change.

With the NCW campaign focusing on empowering positive change through careers education, it’s the ideal time to discuss how teachers can help students making effective choices, whatever their age, to assist in future-proofing the workforce.

From as early as nursery age, social conditioning leads adults to ask children: “what do you want to be when you grow up?” And while we don’t influence our children at an early age directly, we can have an indirect impact. We often encourage them to imagine themselves in certain careers - in most cases pushing them to do well and earn well.

Why teachers should get involved with careers advice

Aspirations are what make us tick as humans, and as role models, for children from reception all the way through to sixth form. Teachers inspire children to learn and develop for their future career, and can be the best careers advisors, able to influence and encourage children’s entire future with a sentence or anecdote.

As trusted adults, young people approach teachers and tutors with concerns about future aspirations. Teachers who form great relationships with their students can help pupils work through these issues providing solutions and ways to keep their options open.

For all educators, it’s important to link education with the world of employment. This benefits the student, ensuring they get an insight into the future of work and further learning. It’s also a fantastic way to increase the relevance of the curriculum to students, which intensifies their engagement. For instance, describing how a particular scientific experiment used and in what career it would be carried out. Teachers should look to involve employers when delivering lessons, inviting those who use the knowledge and skills the students are learning into the classroom. Explaining what they are used for in practice can bring the curriculum to life.

Research by the Education and Employers taskforce shows that a young person who has four or more meaningful encounters with an employer while at school is 85 per cent less likely to be unemployed in future. It also provides a plethora of statistics that support the idea that employer involvement in education has a positive impact on children’s future careers.

Future-proofing the next generation

You don’t have to be an expert in all walks of life to guide the next generation into the right career for them. But, as a teacher, you should encourage students to think about what they enjoy in the curriculum and help them to translate that into a potential career path.

Qualifications are certainly important to starting a career, but it’s also important to remind students to acquire new skills while employed too – especially those who aren’t academically minded.

As a teacher, it’s your job to find what motivates and inspires your students, help them to find that, and educate them about the world. Once you do, they’ll be in the right mindset to choose their future career path wisely.

Do you want to inspire future generations or are you looking to recruit an inspirational member of staff? If so, contact your local Reed Education branch today.

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