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Funding to help primary school children dream big about their future careers

Funding to help primary school children dream big about their future careers

The Combined Authority has been selected as one of four trailblazers to deliver an innovative pilot project to inspire primary school-age children in the kinds of jobs they could do in the future and the skills they will need.

The funding has been awarded by the Careers and Enterprise Company and will extend the scope of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Careers Hub, which already works with all eligible secondary schools in the region to help raise children’s aspirations in terms of their future careers.

The Careers Hub is a partnership between the Combined Authority and the Careers and Enterprise Company. The Combined Authority is one of four pilots running which will trailblaze the £2.6 million national scheme.

Studies show that children start to form ideas about their future as they start primary school. But it has also been shown that as early as age six, children can adopt limiting stereotypes based on gender, ethnicity and social background. By age nine, children even can start to drop their biggest ambitions.

The pilot is designed to increase the awareness primary-aged children have of the kinds of work they could do when they grow up, raising aspirations and reducing stereotypes.

The opportunity is open to 75 primary schools from across the region. It will involve support from the Careers Hub, free professional training for teachers delivered by Teach First, and access to additional resources to help in the classroom. The programme will involve putting careers in the curriculum, include interactions with employers and will engage parents.

The project aligns with the Combined Authority’s wider ambition to create an ‘all age’ careers service, giving people at any stage of life better awareness and access to opportunities to increase their skills and improve job opportunities. It also supports the aims to reduce skills shortages in the local economy, linking education closer to employers.

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, Deputy Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and chair of the Combined Authority’s Skills Committee, said: “It is great the Combined Authority has been able to attract more funding from Government for the region in what will hopefully be a very successful pilot.

“We want all children to dream big about their futures. By engaging primary school pupils in the exciting things they could do when they grow up, we can help to raise aspirations and the confidence that they can make them happen.

“The Combined Authority is here to lift levels of skills and boost employment prospects for everyone in the region, at whatever stage of life. This pilot programme is another step towards our development of an all-age careers service and I’m looking forward to seeing what difference it can make.”

The pilot is part of wider £2.6 million programme from the Government’s Department for Education, to get young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to be ambitious and hungry for future opportunities. 2,200 primary schools and more than 500,000 pupils, located in 55 Education Investment Areas (EIAs) are set to benefit nationally. The programme, including the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough pilot, will run to 2025.

For primary schools interested in registering an interest in the programme, please contact Joseph Clay at the Combined Authority joseph.clay@cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk