Advising the young

I note with interest the BBC’s report Career advice for seven-year-olds and the statement that: The programme, which aims to broaden the horizons and raise the aspirations of children from deprived backgrounds, is to be piloted in seven local areas. Universities and firms will give pupils a glimpse of what it is like working and learning in adulthood.

It does strike me that in a world that is now economically flat and one in which we have no idea what the future for employment holds for our young people that talking to them about career expectations at the age of seven is not exactly the right way to go. Instead of it opening up horizons it could easily be closing them down. It is a ‘word of mouth’ truism that at least 40% of the jobs/careers that these children will be involved in in their lives have not been clearly defined yet. By holding up to them a light to the current availability this could well ruin the future creativity that beckons.

The article goes on to say: The department stresses the scheme is not about helping children decide what job they want to do, but showing them what can be possible so they fulfil their potential.

How can they be shown what is possible if this is not yet defined? It does strike me that this seems as if the objective of education is work. How does this square with the idea of ‘life-long’ learning and, if it is so, does this indicate the next steps in the process of institutionalised education?

Attribution: Image: ‘Coastal Bridge – Kuwait

One thought on “Advising the young

  1. Yes, but so many children have career aspirations that amount to firefighter/hairdresser/builder/shop manager… (Oh yes, and X Factor winner!) That is hardly opening their horizons, so seeing areas of research, engineering, HR etc. at least creates a gap through which other expectations may enter?

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