What do you want to be when you grow up? Pam Cumming, Schools Engagement Officer with the University of Aberdeen, recalls her gran asking her that very question. “I said I wanted to be a witch, a fairy or a daisy!” she recalls. “To be honest, I was never sure what I wanted to be. Each job I’ve had has equipped me for the next one and I’m fortunate to have enjoyed them all. We spend a lot of time at work, so career choices are important.”
Creating the challenge
With this in mind – and given the region’s rapidly changing jobs market – Pam set about creating a fun careers challenge for school pupils in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) North East. Young people were invited to research different jobs and consider what these might entail, along with any skills requirements. The results of their efforts were then captured in a short video and submitted for entry.
“It’s never too early for young people to learn about the different career opportunities that are available to them – or for them to start developing the skills that will equip them for life beyond school,” says Margo Milne, Director, DYW North East. “The careers challenge was designed to get young people excited and curious about different jobs. By incorporating elements such as research and video production, the challenge itself helped pupils develop some of the skills that employers are looking for.”
Getting to work
To help the pupils on their way, Pam delivered employability workshops at the participating schools. Pupils were tasked with looking at their own and others’ skills sets, before going on to look at the skills sets attached to specific job roles.
“At a young age many children want to be footballers or YouTubers. It is great to give them the opportunity to research lots of different jobs,” explains Pam. “This plants the seed that there are various pathways available, while also helping them to develop their own employability skills.”
The results are in
Four primary schools across the region – Pitmedden, Catterline, Kittybrewster and Fraserburgh’s South Park – were selected as prize winners.
“The young people in each of these schools produced some amazing work,” says Pam. “It made for some very difficult judging sessions!”
Fellow judge Nicola Graham, Area Manager, Skills Development Scotland, was equally as impressed. “The entries were of a high standard and demonstrated the research that was carried out into jobs and pathways,” she says.
“As well as illustrating the skills needed for different jobs and sectors, pupils also demonstrated their own skills by worked together and presenting the information – these are all skills that they will continue to use in the future.”
DYW North East makes it easier for employers and education to connect and equip young people for the world of work. If you would like to support - or employ - young people, please get in touch.
The University of Aberdeen offers a number of workshops for primary and secondary school pupils. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.