When I was at school, careers guidance mainly consisted of us being presented with a (very old) computer that asked us fairly random questions about what things in life we enjoyed and then churned out an equally bizarre list of options for a future career. My friends and I were very confused as to how such an un-related set of occupations could have resulted from the answers we provided. Of course these potential jobs were also very fixed and traditional.
Encouragingly schools now provide careers education and guidance offered by real human beings. However, a recent report published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission suggests a number of stereotypical responses still exist that are putting particular groups at disadvantage, including: young people with disabilities; women; and ethnic minorities, in turn further exacerbating skills shortages in some sectors. Insufficient teacher training has been identified as an issue and suggestions have been made to start inspecting this provision in schools. Hopefully, key members of the Government will recognise the significance of these findings and recommendations in helping to improve employment figures and add value to the economy. Or maybe they are all still dreaming of becoming fighter pilots….
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