This blog is the first in a series from CASCAID staff members personal experiences with careers education.
Think back to a time where your school blazer was well worn, your shoes all scuffed from kicking a football around in the playground and when your desk was full of mock exam papers.
Exams were looming but so was your next chapter in your life. You knew you were good at Maths or Science or Spanish but what on earth would you do with these after school?
Janet Downs’s recent article in Schools week mentions how Careers Education should rely not only on Employers and information websites but how schools should learn from previous teaching methods and be more interactive and engaging with their students so that it can be as educational and informative as possible. Reading this got me thinking of my own personal experience with careers guidance in education.
Growing up in the early 2000’s, I had very few interactions with careers education. I completed a careers test, but had little supervision, so this was easily forgotten by the time I was making a cheesecake in my Food technology class.
I, like most of your year tens, did work experience but with little guidance on how this would help me in a career. Finally, I had decided to go ahead with working a week in a pet shop; did I want to work in a pet shop when I was older? Not really! I just went ahead as I liked animals.
I don’t recall having many interactions other than those two, so I just followed my abilities and strengths. As a result of this, I opted for a history degree at Northampton University. I really loved my course and found it a worthwhile experience but left with the same issue as I had when I finished school – no idea what to do.
Looking back what could have helped?
Guidance, interaction and inspiration are three things that spring to mind. This was lacking back then and if I had the tools and exposure, it may have been possible that I could’ve followed an alternative path.
This still seems to be an issue today. While there are careers advisers and employers championing CEG, there seems to be more that can be done to help and support students who are confused about how they can best achieve their aspirations with the subjects they are studying at school.
The Government’s solution is the National Careers Service website however; this has had many negative responses. Janet Downs in her recent article called it so dull that it can’t fail to leave users uninspired. The website appears to be a list of careers, courses and other endless pages of information. Students want and need engagement and encouragement rather than a list of jobs and qualifications that is needed to achieve the career they’d aspire for.
So what could schools do?
- Get involved with employers and arrange work experience, mock interviews and industry STEM days.
- Encourage your students to attend the Skills Shows and your careers advisers events such as the National Career Guidance Shows.
- Avoid giving your students a long list of what work related skills they need to get into a certain apprenticeship or course, instead help inform and help them choose their post school career.
- This can be done by having dedicated sessions with careers programmes/tools such as Kudos where students can explore their potential and discover new ideas. The teacher or adviser (with the help of CASCAID Manager) can then discuss their ideas and help arrange a plan of attack to inspire them to get started on that path.
With the right guidance, interactions and inspiration, the Careers Guidance of today could lead to a student being a Mars Astronaut or a Sustainable Power Innovator.
So think now of the future, your child or grandchild could come home from school after meeting a careers adviser with a form to go on to a work experience day and a guide to being a De-extinction zoologist.
To see how Kudos can help you click here for more information.
Or to trial Kudos at your school/college click here or get in touch at 01509 226868.
Why not come and see us at the National Career Guidance Shows, details of when the shows are can be found here.
Dale, CASCAID Marketing Team