Responding to the publication of a new report by Education & Employers into the importance of career-related activity in primary schools, Future First’s Chief Executive Lorraine Langham said:
“This new report reinforces the need to provide primary school pupils with careers support at an early age and that is something Future First has been doing for a number of years.
“As this report points out, role models enhance confidence among pupils, foster a positive attitude towards school, and contribute towards improved attainment. That is why Future First’s focus on providing alumni encounters is so important to the career prospects of young people across the country. Seeing relatable role models in a wide array of jobs broadens young people’s horizons at any age.
“Our partnership with the KPMG Foundation has built a network of alumni role models across 20 primary schools, and our collaboration with law firm Ashurst has provided a valuable insight into working life for primary pupils in East London.”
Future First piloted work with primary schools in Knowsley, Merseyside, which showed how working with alumni can have a tangible impact on pupil confidence – 83% said they were more confident about being successful in the future after attending workshops. This work is also important to challenging stereotypes in the workplace, with some schools reporting a more than 30% decrease amongst pupils believing jobs are limited by gender.
The result of this work has informed an emerging new primary school strategy for Future First which will have a renewed focus on supporting transition and addressing the challenges of ingrained stereotyping that can narrow the aspirations of primary-aged pupils.
Lorraine continued: “The evidence supporting the power of positive role models for young people is stronger than ever. In her new book, award-winning psychologist and Future First partner, Fiona Murden, shows the importance of role models for very young children and puts the science behind what we see in the classroom.
“Ultimately, what this recent report shows is that it is never too early for young people’s future prospects to be enhanced with the help of role models they can relate to.”