Preparing your child for the world of work

Top tips for parents

This spring, Pearson released new UK research revealing parents’ concerns over their children’s education and employment prospects in an increasingly competitive jobs market. 

The research also showed that parents — unsurprisingly — just want their children to be happy, including in their choice of career. However, it also found that they are uncomfortable about giving their children practical advice on education and careers, with real uncertainty and worry about their children being able to find employment. 

So, how can parents support their children so they are prepared for the changing world of work? From my perspective as Pearson’s Senior Vice President of BTEC and Apprenticeships – and a mum of two – I’m sharing my three top tips for parents needing to bring the world of careers advice and guidance to life.

Not A Job For Life

The world around us is changing – and fast. Who knows what jobs will be available in 5 or 10 – nevermind 20 – or 30-years’ time? 

With this change comes an understanding that new career paths will be springing up constantly, meaning today’s learners are no longer required to select a single profession – they will need transferable skills to help them flex and adapt from one career to another. Equally, there’s a recognition that some careers – doctors, dentists, teachers – will always be needed within our society, but even these will be impacted by technology and new ways of working. 

Be open about new careers, portfolio careers and the role of soft and hard skills in preparing young people for the future.

Listening to young people 

My second top tip is – listen to your kids. 

Understanding what they think about the future is vital to their success – both personally, and professionally. They know about the “new” jobs out there, from bloggers and vloggers to games and app developers, and have developed their own understanding of what the future may look like.

Prioritise Their Passions

For parents, our children’s happiness is our number one priority.  That said, we must be realistic and recognise that not everyone can become a professional football player or a Grammy award-winning singer!

But by identifying your children’s passions – and actively encouraging them – their future careers can still be discussed.  Take double Olympic Gold medal-winning gymnast Max Whitlock: he studied a BTEC and today has a team including nutritionists, physiotherapists, sports marketers and more – all working within the sporting arena, without being an athlete themselves.

By reminding our children of the diverse teams within the vast majority of sectors, we’re better able to map out the potential for them to pursue their passions and develop the flexible skill set that will ultimately prepare them for the changing world of work.

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