Children as young as seven should start learning about careers and gather a minimum of 100 hours experience of the world of work while still at school, says a new report.
The report, due to be launched today by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, reveals findings from an Institute of Education research study showing that most seven years olds have “realistic” rather than a “fantasy” aspirations – “for example they want to be a fire officer rather than a dragon”.
The report recommends that every young child in the capital should complete the minimum 100 hours of work experience by the age of 16. Activities counting toward the hours include career insights from industry experts, work tasters, coaching, mentoring and part time work.
The number of hours would be down to school. “Some may want to provide much more [than 100]”, the report adds.
Written in conjunction with the London Enterprise Panel, London councils and the Mayor of London’s office, it also suggests that the experiences should be captured in a personalised digital portfolio.
Each young person would own the record and have responsibility for updating it regularly, “knowing this could potentially be their future passport to success”.
This would enable potential employers to see a “broader and more rounded picture of the young person’s schooling, accumulated skills and experiences and other relevant activities”, according to the report.s.
Other recommendations include that every school and college should put in place “an explicit publicised careers policy and Careers Curriculum”. A London Ambitions Careers Curriculum has been drawn up from key stage 2 to 5.
It also recommends that “every good institution” should have a governor with oversight for ensuring support for all students to relate their learning to careers and the world of work from an early age.
London Councils – which represents all 32 London boroughs and the City of London – says the initiative is being backed by £380 million currently being invested in London through the European Social Fund, with dedicated funding to support careers, enterprise and employability provision.