More Than a Job’s Worth: Making Careers Education Age Appropriate

Founders4Schools commissioned this research, because while there is compelling evidence outlining the benefits good careers education and guidance has for children and young people, much less is understood about when different sorts of careers-focused interventions should take place. This report sets out what children and young people’s careers education should entail, and when, drawing on the literature and input of a wide range of education and careers practitioners, experts, and employers.
Building on principles set out for careers education in the Gatsby Benchmarks and elsewhere, this report highlights principles that are important throughout a young person’s careers education:

  • Universality: all children and young people should access a careers education, regardless of their background, prior knowledge about possible pathways, or pre-existing aspirations.
  • Authenticity: all pupils should experience work that reflects the realities of day-to-day employment.
  • Progression: the different elements of careers education should build on prior learning and experiences, forming a coherent journey.
  • More is more: a range of different interventions targeting different outcomes will increase the likelihood that all children and young people benefit.
  • Open-mindedness: young people should engage with a range of ideas that open their horizons about a range of options.
    This research highlights eight main barriers to quality careers education throughout schooling. These are:

    • Time, prioritisation and buy-in.
    • Division of labour (within schools, and between schools and external partners).
    • Embedding careers into the curriculum.
    • Working with parents and carers.
    • Geography.
    • Teachers’ knowledge.
    • Networks and brokerage.
    • Balancing the need to expand horizons while whittling down options.

    Date Published: 1st April 2019
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