Careers and Employability Skills
At Nottingham Academy Primary, we are aware that long term-trends (for example the introduction of AI and automation; a move towards ‘portfolio working’ and other such shifts) will change the face of the world of work in ways that are still unknown.
We believe that these challenges, along with local, school-based needs, had to be properly addressed in order to give our children the best chance of becoming fully functioning members in the 21st Century workplace, be it as: employees, employers, self-employed, gig-economy freelancers or in Higher Education.
With these challenges in mind, we designed our Vision Statement for Careers & Employability Skills and are continuously developing our Careers & Employability curriculum. Our provision focuses on six key areas which we have identified as being most likely to have the greatest effect on our children, for their age and stage, and position them well for the future.
Behind the Curriculum
Before the introduction of the Careers & Employability Skills curriculum at Nottingham Academy (Primary), informal in-school discussions between teachers and pupils revealed a common theme: that our primary age children’s future aspirations were largely based on gender stereotypes, socio-economic backgrounds and influenced by the media, social media and high profile personalities, especially sports people and ‘celebrities’ and other pursuits that had a large number of contenders with a very small number of high profile, glamorous and well-paid ‘winners’. On January 19th, 2018, the charity Education and Employers published its report ‘Drawing the Future’ which was uncannily reflective of our experiences in school and provided the academic research and rigour to complement our own anecdotal evidence. A summary of the key points from the report are:
- The patterns of jobs chosen by seven-year-olds mirror those selected by 17-year olds.
- Gender stereotyping about jobs is set from a young age.
- Family, TV, radio and film have the biggest influence on children’s choices.
- There is a need for greater access to career role models from a young age.
- Children’s career aspirations have little in common with projected workforce needs, which could have serious implications for the UK’s economy.
Although the current body of evidence about the benefits of careers education in the primary setting is still being developed, research that has been completed provides evidence that very young pupils gain many benefits from careers education that introduces them to the world of work and helps them see the relevance of their studies.
In addition, findings indicate that KS2 children are receptive to learning about employment opportunities and skills, especially when embedded in their curriculum.
Furthermore, broadening horizons and increasing awareness about the world of work and the skills needed to be successful can strengthen competencies in decision-making, presentation, transition, sociability, listening and planning and can bridge gaps by raising aspiration.