According to a recent survey by the Association of Accounting Technicians, 24% of young people make careers and educational decisions based on parental advice. If anything this figure seems a little low to us — anecdotal evidence we have received from colleges throughout the country suggests that the figure may well be far higher than the survey suggests.
However, even if we take the 24% figure it is clear that parents often form a vital link between young people and the career paths they choose. For any college looking for ways to improve their careers guidance, bearing this in mind and actively taking steps to tailor careers advice not just to young people, but also to their parents, may well be a smart move.
Middlesbrough College is an example of an institution that has recently done just this. On 8th July, the College hosted Summer Choices, an open-day aimed at year 10 and 11 pupils which, amongst other things, aimed to give these young people impartial advice and guidance on suitable careers. However, rather than aiming their pre-event marketing just towards the young people, the College targeted their campaign towards their parents as well.
As part of the careers guidance given on the day, the College invited EMSI to attend in order to demonstrate Career Coach, our online careers tool. Since investing in Career Coach, the tool has since become an integral part of the College’s careers advice, and has been embedded onto the website so that anyone inside or outside the College can use it. It has even been integrated it onto Mbro Mobile — the College’s mobile App.
Career Coach contains a wealth of local labour market information that can be used to give impartial careers advice to those wondering about their next steps. For example, the tool can tell you what occupations actually exist in your area, how much they pay, what other jobs require a similar skillset, and also what training you would need to do to get into these occupations. The tool also includes a really simple CV builder that can be used to build a professional looking CV in minimal time.
Middlesbrough College clearly see the potential Career Coach has in helping young people make informed decisions about their future, but what is really exciting about their approach is that they also recognise the role parents have to play in guiding their children, and are taking tangible steps to keep them informed as well. As most parents who have gone through the process of advising their children will tell you, despite good intentions they often find themselves shooting in the dark just as much as their children. With the approach taken at Summer Choices, including the use of Career Coach to help guide both young people and their parents, Middlesbrough College has shown that they are committed to helping both parents and children make genuinely informed choices.
This approach really does work. According to Andrea Waller-Amos, the College’s Director of Marketing, Communications and PR, the event was “really good” with about 100 students and their parents showing up, and also a fair number of applications being received even on the day. EMSI’s Stephen Cunningham also sees the great benefit in this approach: “It’s great to see Middlesborough College promoting our great partnership work. Summer Choices demonstrated clearly how working together can help both students and parents alike understand where the present and future opportunities are in the local labour market.”
To find out how Career Coach can help your college help people make informed decisions, contact Andy Durman at firstname.lastname@example.org