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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second Annie: it’s really key to raise young people’s self-awareness and understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, of their values and of their goals. Whilst perhaps also taking into account the barriers that they face. Whether that’s pressures, whether it’s parental pressures, whether it’s cultural pressures, whether they’re care leavers or children in care, there are a lot of pressures that they get from behind, there are a lot of barriers that they face and it’s about raising themselves up to understand what strengths they have to move them forward whilst understanding that maybe they have a weakness in areas that they need to overcome and it’s just about them knowing who they are. I think that’s really important.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds Our role in this is to facilitate so that young people know what their task is; but then we don’t talk at them or to them but actually involve them. We need to find out what they know and they can learn from each other as well to a certain extent in terms of group discussion and challenging as a group what they might know and using case studies and real live studies so that they can actually see what a move forward can look like and what a plan can look like.

Skip to 1 minute and 24 seconds Jasmine: a lot of times students will make decision based on what their peers are doing or what a teacher’s told them or maybe even a parent or parent/carer has told them and they haven’t really done any type of research so it’s about researching whatever ideas they actually have and start that process by finding out what they’re interested in or what they like or don’t like. It could be as basic as when they were doing their GCSE subjects, what subjects did they like more than others – to find out whether it’s a practical subject or whether it’s an academic subject. Then you can start looking at what career ideas they may have in mind.

Skip to 2 minutes and 14 seconds Some student may already have had work experience in Year 10 and some of them also may have started a different type of work experience if they’re doing BTECs, they will have done work experience there, so, they maybe have an idea of the sorts of skills that they already have. But it’s actually about trying to find out what sorts of skills-set they have and that they’re aware of, so it’s about doing a bit of self-reflection and seeing what sort of skills may be needed for the job choice they’re thinking about.

Skip to 2 minutes and 50 seconds Annie: it’s important to recognise that students will develop and mature at different rates and it isn’t easy to make decisions about your future based on snapshot information and it’s recognising where your students currently are and it’s trying to dig and find out where it is they want to be and how they’re going to get there. So, take pressures away from young people to make snap decisions but make sure that they are aware that they probably do they need some pushing forward sometimes. The other thing is I would say is that it’s also not the end of the world to take a bit more time and that might mean taking a gap year.

Skip to 3 minutes and 35 seconds It’s about giving the right information around a gap year as well. I think it’s really key for a young person to understand how and when they make their choices. Taking a year out to gain some really key transferrable skills whether they’re working in a kitchen or in accountancy they still have all those key transferrable skills that might move them on. It also might give them that lightbulb moment of “Wow this is what I want to do” That doesn’t rule out university at a later stage, it might just be a slower path.

Skip to 4 minutes and 16 seconds Jasmine: I’ve got an example of a young person that I was working with and he just kept truanting the whole time. While he was in school he did good work but he just kept truanting and nobody knew why he was truanting. We found out that he was actually buying muffins, cake muffins, from a shop and selling them outside pubs. On the one hand you could say he was doing something wrong, he shouldn’t be doing it, but on the other hand if you look at it, he was showing a skill, he had entrepreneurial skills.

Skip to 4 minutes and 46 seconds So, we sat down and did a plan of what he could do to keep him in school to show him how the different subjects could help him to develop him into being a businessman. He went on to win a year’s mentoring by one of the dragons den and also a laptop. He stopped truanting which is a good thing but it also helped him to think, to make a connection between school and what he wanted to do eventually.

Skip to 5 minutes and 19 seconds Annie: I think young people can make decisions whether it’s snap decisions or even in their minds well researched decisions but sometimes they can regret decisions they have made. It’s very easy for a young person to move forward because all their friends are going to university they start off in university and they realise they’ve made a massive mistake. But it’s really important that young people know that accidents happen, mistakes are made and they can be recovered from and in fact they can sometimes be quite useful in their life plan to know that they can build resilience based on something that’s happened to them.

Skip to 5 minutes and 57 seconds I don’t think it’s enough to have a young person say they want to do geography and accept it. We have to challenge young people – why do they want to do geography? What do they understand about geography? Where’s it going to take them? What other areas of geography have they looked – is it environmental, are we talking about management? Where are they going with geography? I just don’t think it’s enough to stop and say, “Yes Geography, you’re fine”. We need to challenge young people, we need to inspire our young people to understand what all the options are available to them.

Skip to 6 minutes and 34 seconds Jasmine: Students may have been in vulnerable situations and it’s being aware of how you would deal with this and in a sensitive way so that students don’t feel that you’re putting them on the spot, as it were, but making them feel important enough that their career goals and aspirations are just as important as anybody else in the classroom.

Skip to 7 minutes and 3 seconds Annie: Understanding that maybe they want to go to university but as yet, they don’t know what they want to do, is as much a career decision as having decided that they want to become a doctor.

Skip to 7 minutes and 14 seconds Jasmine: Sometimes you just need to find out what makes them tick and once you’ve found that then you’re there.

Skip to 7 minutes and 21 seconds Annie: If I had one thing to say it would be challenge – challenge, challenge, challenge. Young people are really good at saying, “Yeah, yeah I know, it’s sorted – I’m doing this” because they don’t’ want to face the challenge, they don’t want to face the decision and it’s easy, they can get you off their back. Always challenge. Challenge what they know, challenge why they know it, challenge what they’re going to do with it.

Strategies for helping your students

In this step you will hear more from the careers advisers, including some suggestions and strategies for helping students to make sound decisions about their study and career plans. They focus on the key aspects of giving students information, advice and guidance (IAG).

We will be looking at this further in the next step.

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Smart Advice: Broadening Your Students’ Horizons