New career talks for primary school children set to tackle stereotypes

Credit: PA

A new campaign of school talks will bring successful role models into our region's primary schools and encourage pupils to 'think outside the box'.

The Primary Futures scheme wants to challenge misconceptions about who can do what career, and help children broaden their horizons. 

Research from the charity Education and Employers shows that children begin to form stereotypes about jobs based on gender, ethnicity and social background from the age of five.

The study also found children's aspirations for the future are often based on what they see around them, including their family, friends, and people on TV.

Credit: Primary Futures

The Primary Futures programme hopes to challenge these misconceptions with school talks from inspiring volunteers. The scheme helps schools find speakers with different jobs to talk to pupils about what they do and the opportunities available to them. 

Volunteers who speak to the children come from a range of different careers and professions, including marine biology, creative tech, and even ITV journalists!

Nicola Osinaike, Product Development Lead and Primary Futures volunteer, said: ''It means so much to me to be able to inspire the kids and to help them see that there are more than two or three job titles, and they can see people who look like them in different roles, it's really important.''

Head teacher Karen Giles said this new programme of school talks is a key part of the solution to the post-Covid education recovery.

She added:  It's just challenging those stereotypes, particularly in terms of age, gender, in terms of ethnicity - even in terms of disabilities. It just gives them better aspirations and ways in which they can reach those goals.''

Nick Chambers, Chief Executive, Education and Employers added: "Expanding the opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to meet a wide range of successful professionals helps widen their aspirations - which may be high but narrow - because often they encounter a smaller range of role models in their day-to-day lives."