Careers Column 6 - How to help your child make the right choice in education
How to help your child make the right choice in education
By Tracy Toyne, Advice and Guidance Coordinator
As a parent or carer there is plenty you can do to support your child and help them make successful education choices. When children are asked who they admire most, it is often their parents they say has the most influence, helps them and are who they turn to for advice.
Your child will have decisions to make at different stages, so it's worth raising the subject of careers from time to time over a period of years. Encourage them to talk about the jobs they see other people doing, to get them thinking about what they might like to do in future.
Different routes suit different types
Explore their options
The most valuable things parents can do to help their child with planning their education choices are listen, don’t judge; keep in mind that their choices and decisions should be based on their aspirations and abilities – not on what you think they should do; and remember that not everyone has a clear idea what they want to do, so their career plans may change as they get older.
How you can help:
- Talk about careers they might be interested in and why they appeal.
- Talk about the jobs they see other people doing, to get them thinking about what they might like to do in future.
- Ask them about the careers advice offered at their school. Is there a careers library, are there careers lessons related to the world of work and job applications?
- Help them research the possible employers, apprenticeship providers and further education courses available locally. You could attend school careers fairs or college open evenings to find out more.
- Encourage them to participate in extra-curricular activities, which can open their minds and equip them with wider skills employers look for.
- Once they have some idea about what they would like to do, encourage them to look into what they need to do to get there, such as academic or vocational training, as well as work experience.
Future career options
Labour Market Information (LMI) provides a view on the world of work in a particular area, region, or country and is a good indicator of what jobs will be available for your child. In Gloucestershire there are job opportunities across most occupations but there is higher demand in those relating to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
Where else can you and your child get advice?
- Careers education in school, including employer presentations, mock interviews and CV and personal statement workshops.
- Gfutures, a local government organisation which bridges the gap between schools and businesses, and delivers impartial careers guidance.
- Careers advisors, who are professionally trained and mainly employed by the government. They normally carry out careers guidance interviews with children in Year 10 and 11, and help them set goals to achieve their ideal career.
- Gloucestershire College Advice Team, which can help you and your child understand the education options available. Call 0345 155 2020 to book a one-to-one appointment.
- www.ucas.com has a useful section on 11 – 16 choices, which aims to help young people consider their careers options and identify which qualifications are right for this choice.
- nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk is a great resource to help make decisions on what your child’s career should look like.
- www.icould.com is aimed mainly at Year 11s and has lots of useful case studies, as well as Labour Market Information.
Whichever pathway your child decides to choose, the GC Advice Team is here to help. Email email@example.com or call 0345 155 2020 for independent advice and guidance