Are Kids Really Prepared For The World Of Work?

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I am on LBC Radio with Andrew Castle discussing the new CBI campaign calling for reformed careers advice in schools to ensure every young person gets quality guidance and at least four interactions with working life by the age of 16.

My daughter started her ‘proper’ job two weeks ago after leaving University so I have  a personal interest in how we prepare young people for the world of work.

I started out working at Miss. Selfridge in Croydon on Saturdays when I was 16 and it gave me more than just the feeling of satisfaction earning my own money. It gave me independence, tenacity, a strong work ethic and taught me how to handle the public ( I remember being really messed about by a woman as I worked in the shoe department during the Summer holidays!) It taught me about being on time, turning up smartly dressed and working long hours. It gave me confidence & purpose. It taught me to budget and to save.

It seems much harder for kids these days to get Saturday jobs as people  do 7 day rotas and jobs are covered by full time staff. My own daughter battled the online approach to applying which is soul- less & demoralising as you feel invisible and unimportant. She got an email back from ‘Bill’s Restaurant 3 months after applying!

Having a Saturday or holiday job teaches a foundation of skills for the real world of work, from taking & following instructions, learning about team work & customer care to being able to show initiative to also battling someone bossing you about who hasn’t got great interpersonal skills. It’s all a HUGE important learning curve.

There are things that need to be addressed to help young people hit the ground running, but I’m not sure an over crowded syllabus and data driven education system is really adapting and flexible at handling the 21st Century new ways of working.

I think it needs an overhaul.

I am on the Think Tank of Kidzania London, the city built for kids with over 60 real life role-play activities, with high educational value so listen to my fascinating interview with Dr. Ger Graus the global education advisor to Kidzania, where we discuss helping children to aspire to their dreams,  while we look at setting real practical goals, to the importance of  parental influence, as well as the skills kids need to succeed in the 21st century work place.


To listen click on – Dr. Ger Graus OBE is a renowned figure in the field of education where he is currently Global Director of Education for KidZania



Here’s what we discussed on LBC Radio.

“Careers advice in schools needs to be reformed as part of measures to tackle the UK’s skills “emergency”, the head of a leading business group has said.

Caroline Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, said weaknesses in supporting young people into work had existed for years, but the changing nature of jobs had made the situation “critical”.

In an end-of-year message to CBI members, she said the top priority must be the “urgent transformation” of skills.

“The clock may be ticking on Brexit but it is ticking just at fast in our schools, colleges, universities and workplaces,” she said.

“The CBI will be campaigning for reformed careers advice in schools and to ensure every young person gets quality guidance and at least four interactions with working life by the age of 16, in every nation of the UK.

“We will also champion the effective delivery of higher quality technical education, including T-levels in England, a reformed apprenticeship levy and real progress on mass adult reskilling.”

Ms Fairbairn said 2017 had been a “rollercoaster ride”, adding that uncertainty had taken its toll on industry, with some companies halting or postponing investment plans.

“Even harder work lies ahead. To keep jobs and investment in the UK, binding Brexit transition terms by the end of the first quarter need to be accompanied by progress on a framework for a final deal that delivers barrier-free trade with the EU.

“From our politicians we need unity, clarity and certainty, not a different opinion every day. Politics will need to work on business timescales if we are to get the right result for the country.

“We should be under no illusion about the scale of heavy lifting needed in 2018.”

Here are some things you could “Pause To Ponder” to support your kids towards being confident and successful when they are starting out.

8 All-Important Skills for Work Life That You Don’t Learn in School

What are your thoughts on how we help kids prepare for work?

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