National Careers Week will be looking to equip even more people for ‘future jobs’ that are yet to exist.
Think back to your school years. Were you happy with the careers advice you received? I personally was but I recently realised that advisors left out crucial information about alternative routes that didn’t involve university.
This is why National Careers Week is absolutely important to this generation of school leavers. Understanding the best route for you to pursue your dream job not only helps you when you’re starting out, but makes the process an enjoyable one. Running from 7th to the 11th March, this year’s theme, ‘future jobs’ focuses on equipping students with knowledge about careers that perhaps don’t even yet exist. The thought of the unknown is kind of exciting when you think about, however it’s always advisable to be prepared.
We spoke to Nick Newman, the founder of National Careers Week to learn a bit more about what this week entails and to get his thoughts on the overall careers landscape.
Why did you start the National Careers Week?
Following Government cuts to Youth Services across the UK, including the Connexions service which provided many secondary schools with Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG); Careers Week initially started as a kind of protest account on Twitter called SaveCareers - a rallying point for careers professionals to come together and discuss the future of CEIAG.
What makes good career guidance?
Good careers advice is all about providing the right information at the right time of someone's career journey. I have always believed that face-to-face guidance must be part of this process – it’s an important strand when trying to better understand the aims, dreams and talent of a person. Alongside quality face-to-face guidance there must be relevant and contemporary world of work information and resources, all delivered by well trained, careers professionals and accompanying resource (such as Alumni/Mentoring programmes, Employer visits and School Carers Fairs etc.)
Talk to us about this year’s theme – future jobs. Why did you choose this theme?
Easy choice really - whatever students are learning about the world of work today will have changed by the time they are ready for work - it makes sense to me to look forward at future skills gaps that are looming across all sectors in the UK and understand what future skills may be needed going forward. If we can marry the future aspirations of students to the actual skills needs of the UK, that would be a great result.
What are the benefits to good career guidance?
I believe the benefits of good career guidance for young people plays out in better informed career choices and a happier work force if we get it right.
How are your sponsors supporting National Career Week?
Sponsors, supporters and ambassadors all work together to raise awareness of the importance of quality careers information and guidance. Our partner for 2016, RBS Early Careers, have even donated a double-decker bus to tour the UK during Careers Week.
Career guidance has cropped up in the news before with schools not being completely transparent with students on their options, which includes apprenticeships and vocational routes. What will National Careers Week be doing to ensure students are fully aware about their options?
NCW is an all inclusive campaign - we believe in presenting all pathways when it comes to careers - University, FE, Apprenticeships - all play their part as valid destinations after school.
How important do you think apprenticeships are to the future workforce?
Apprenticeships are important if we get it right. At the moment there is a real problem with messaging to influencers and schools - the actual word Apprenticeship means different things to different people - we need to address this urgently and ensure the term is fully understood as representing quality training.
What’s your personal educational experience been like? Would you change anything if you could?
Probably, however I am a fan of lifelong learning - so I continue to learn every day!
What do you hope to get out of National Careers Week?
More people helped each year with quality free careers information.
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