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.
Explore their options
The most valuable things parents can do to help their child with planning their education choices is to keep in mind that their choices and decisions should be based on their aspirations and abilities – remember that not everyone has a clear idea what they want to do, so their career plans may change as they get older.
Different study options
Once your child has started to gather information on the type of career they might like they need to start considering which study options and courses might suit them.
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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.
- 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.
What online resources can help my child with career choices?
- ac.uk Try doing the assessment ‘what job would suit me?’
- org.uk/parent a useful careers and options website with a dedicated section for parents
- com is aimed mainly at Year 11s and has lots of useful case studies, try the ‘buzz test’ for a quick online assessment.
- com/what-are-my-options has a useful section on 16-18 choices
- gov.uk lots of information on apprenticeships
English and maths
All students who don’t already have GCSEs in English and Maths at grades A*-C will study to improve their skills alongside their full-time course. This includes students on technical courses such as Apprenticeships.