He wears the adult size headphones while she navigates with a wireless mouse in front of the computer screen.

Developing Careers Guidance in Primary Schools

We’re pleased to share the results of a pilot project to test a new approach to careers guidance in primary schools, supported by the EY Foundation in partnership with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The two-year project, improved children’s understanding of the range of future work possibilities open to them, and enhanced teachers’ careers-related knowledge and skills. 

I’m delighted to see the positive impact that bringing careers aspiration and inspiration to a younger age can have. Having demonstrated the potential of this concept, it should be replicated across the country to bring together employers and the labour force of the future at a much earlier age.
Evidence shows that children begin to form ideas about their futures when they’re as young as five or six. By the age of 10, many young people have already made career-limiting decisions, which are fixed by the time they’re 14. We wanted to help primary schools to embed a new approach to careers guidance for younger children which has been shown to broaden young people’s horizons, help them to see the link between what they learn in the classroom and their future careers, and improve their outcomes.
“It has been an extremely worthwhile pilot to be part of and the Benchmarks will continue to enhance the provision in school. Our children are interested in the connection between what they are learning and real life, and it make sense to link today’s learning to future aspirations - to help nurture and develop our pupils’ confidence to chase their dreams.

Key insights from primary school Careers Leaders who took part in the project:

  •  87% now rate their ability to design and deliver career-related learning across all year groups as good or very good (compared with 12% at the start of the project)
  • 93% say pupils believe they can achieve their career goals if they work hard (compared with 63% at the start of the project)
  • 87% believe pupils understand the link between skills they develop in school and their future career options (compared with 34% at the start of the project)

The pilot involved 70 primary schools in the North East Local Enterprise Partnership area and will now be available to all primary schools in the area. Read the highlights report here