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Helping children follow their dreams

Bringing new creativity, content and colour to primary careers learning Brian Lightman board member

All children have dreams about what they would like to do when they grow up and it’s vitally important we encourage them to dream big and bold about their aspirations and ambitions.

The new Careers & Enterprise Company’s Primary Resources platform is an exciting and significant step forward in supporting schools, teachers and parents to help inspire children in following their dreams and guide them on their journey of exploration and discovery about jobs and careers.   

Studies by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies and Runneymede Trust and by Education and Employers show most primary age children dream about jobs as sports stars, actors, media personalities and gamers. There are also large numbers who want to be doctors, vets, scientists, engineers and teachers.

Much of their inspiration comes for what they see around them in the world of the grown-ups - from mum, dad, family members, carers, friends of parents, TV and media with a growing influence from online celebrities, Youtubers and gamers.

Here lies the compelling clue to what comprises successful careers guidance for primary age pupils. The more children see and experience, the more ideas they will have about what they can do and what they can aspire to do.

The evidence shows the earlier we start the better, because by the age of six children start conforming to stereotypes and by age nine they start to abandon their fantasy careers.

Good careers guidance at primary level helps young children to challenge and breakdown stereotypes of who does what kind of job and is key to broadening their horizons and keeping their options open.

Bringing the future world of work to life for young people means connecting them with real people in real jobs, so they can hear directly from and be inspired by people in work about what they do; it  means showing the connection between what they are learning in the classroom with the world outside and it means encouraging them to follow their passions and enthusiasms.

It is also important to engage parents and the adult influencers in their lives in careers activities, so they are better informed and able to answer the raft of questions children ask and keep channelling their curiosity.

What we know is the world they will emerge into at the end of their education journey will be very different to the world they live in now. That is why it is critical we do all we can to expand their life choices and extend opportunities for them to reach their full potential.  

Let’s help our young people continue to dream big. This new platform provides a rich and diverse range of information and resources to help channel those dreams and make it happen.

Visit the new Primary Resources platform.