A scheme to give students confidence when job-hunting will be rolled out nationally following a successful stint in a city primary school.
Milton Keynes charity Worktree developed a new project called World of Work which comprises interactive classroom games along with guidance to encourage guest employees into primary schools to answer questions about their jobs.
It’s an initiative backed by academic research showing pupils are likely to achieve more in school if they have work aspirations, they prefer careers information directly from employees, and the more employee contacts they have, the more they learn about work.
Worktree’s CEO, Tom Bulman, said: “Technological advances and increasing global competition means today’s children will experience employment challenges their parents didn’t face.
“World of Work helps schools to start earlier with creative new ways of motivating and preparing pupils for the future.
“This is a quick and cost effective way to do it.”
Worktree has already delivered the activity to more than 4,000 primary pupils aged nine to 11 years old with 97 per cent of the children admitting they “learnt a lot” about the work environment.
Evidence from work in Milton Keynes schools suggests that simply meeting and interviewing guest employees, even for just a few minutes each in the style of speed dating, helps develop aspirations and social mobility.
Andrea Curtis, Head Teacher of Bushfield School in Wolverton, said: “The World of Work activity supported literacy development and critical thinking skills because the children had to listen to what was said and digest that before asking another question.
“It was very inspiring, very real.”
Worktree believes every pupil should meet 50 employees before leaving school and that it is not difficult for teachers to recruit guests from their personal networks, simply to answer questions about their work.
For more information about the World of Work visit www.wowtalk.org.uk