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Get students inspired about their future careers now!


A report from Ofsted, reported by the BBC News in September 2013, (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-24015879) suggested careers advice in schools was failing because of ineffective careers’ advice services. Ofsted guidelines have moved on considerably in this area, with a greater focus on rewarding schools that encourage future-thinking students. However, one of the greatest challenges is getting students interested in the idea of their future career and path in life.

In this article we provide six tips to inspiring students:

Tip 1: Give students relatable, positive career examples
It’s important to give students the chance to see themselves as adults with careers, while at the same time encouraging them to build action plans that will allow them to achieve a role in the whatever industry interests them. If students can begin to understand the skill-set for the role they have chosen, this will give them focus and goals to work to.

Tip 2: Help students develop their life goals
It would be unrealistic to expect pre-teens and teenagers to get excited about careers without at least a degree of guidance. Once you’re sure a student has decided on a realistic career choice, it can help them to think SMART when looking to develop the skills that fit that industry (www.smartashell.com offers a list of alternatives to the SMART framework).

Tip 3: Make lessons more relevant to real-life challenges
Students all-too-frequently believe that what they learn in school they never use again so it’s important that they understand the relevance of both the learning process itself and how their new-found knowledge will be relevant to them and their life goals.

Tip 4: Bring in enthusiastic and passionate employers
Inviting in outside employers to talk to students can really shine a light on the realities (and joys) of working life. Enthusiasm and energy can be infectious, so those with the right attitude about their own line of work can really inspire pupils to follow in their footsteps. Try to encourage a range of employers from a variety of industries in to offer a balanced approach.

Tip 5: Encourage Saturday jobs
Employers like to see young people who have used their initiative to get jobs or volunteer for something at a young age. This experience not only gives young people something to boost their CVs, but will also introduced them to the idea of thinking about their careers and working seriously.

Tip 6: Encourage external vocational courses
Students ideally need to develop the skills that match their preferred careers choices. Taking on additional courses outside of the school environment can help them to develop their experience and knowledge faster and to a deeper level.

Platform7Teen offers services to school and higher education institutions that teach students how to develop their social and communication skills for further education, the work place and life generally.

The department of education offer a fantastic document for careers guidance and inspiration in schools (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/302422/Careers_Statutory_Guidance_-_9_April_2014.pdf).