Teaching Pupils About The Realities Of Work

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How easy is it to link careers to the curriculum?

Careers advice in schools is a challenging and critical aspect of the curriculum to help offer pupils develop their employability skills. These soft skills help students become employable, but curriculum restraint is difficult for schools. These free activities from IGD can help teachers develop these skills with our pupils within a congested curriculum.

Curriculum planning

Career planning in schools used to be the domain of specialist careers advisers who would provide an overview of different workplaces and help students to understand their individual strengths and challenges. However, circumstances have changed significantly, and it now regularly falls to teachers to give this guidance as part of the standard curriculum. Such a responsibility is bound to cause challenges, considering the many other calls on teachers’ time over each academic year.

It has never been simple to link careers and curriculum, and with so many career pathways open to young people, it is almost impossible to know where to start. As a research and training charity focused on the food and grocery industry, IGD is in a unique position to showcase the opportunities available in this sector and to outline key skills the UK’s largest private sector employers are looking for. They do this through school training programmes and the provision of free teaching resources through their online Educator Hub.

Careers resources

IGD’s Educator Hub provides classroom presentations, case studies and activities that help students to develop a range of skills, whilst at the same time giving background information on a huge industry that employs 1 in 7 people in the UK. It often surprises people to see what a wide range of jobs are available, so understanding the different roles and career pathways on offer can inspire students to reflect on their strengths and identify areas of development.

Here is a small sample of some of the teacher notes and lesson plans available.

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Importantly the educator hub also links school subjects back to careers, which means that teachers can use the activities provided in most lessons and meet Gatsby benchmark 4. The focus on employability skills ensures that these activities are transferable and relevant across a range of subject areas.

Each lesson encourages students to reflect on their skills and understand where they can apply them in real-life work situations. They also showcase the relevance of STEM in the food and grocery sector and demonstrate how STEM skills can be used in a variety of different roles.

Eight key skills sought by employers …

Time and again the same eight key skills come up as both individually valuable and highly sought after by employers. These are analytical abilities, creativity, communication, digital skills, entrepreneurial mindset, leadership, being practical, and demonstrating teamwork. Despite the demand for these skills, 75% of recruiters in the food and grocery industry say they struggle to find applicants with these attributes. This means that any students that can demonstrate them will be at an immediate advantage as they enter the world of work.

Careers advice in my experience of schools was always hit and miss, with it entirely being dependent on who was leading the agenda. With IGD, they want to make this process as simple as it can be for teachers so that they can focus on helping young people use their skills to best effect. There’s no excuse! If you want to find out more, contact IGD: igd@igd.com

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@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of being most influential in the field of education. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing resources and ideas online as @TeacherToolkit, he has built this website (c2008) which has been described as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the UK Blog Awards (2018). Read more...