Thursday 3 February saw the launch of Talking Futures, Gatsby's suite of resources to help parents have constructive careers and education conversations with their children.
Developing and piloting these materials began in 2019 and learnings have shaped what is now available on the Talking Futures' site. The campaign website, as well as providing guidance and practical tools for parents to help have career conversations with their children, also recommends and signposts to other useful sites and resources that can help parents explore the different training and education opportunities available for young people. From practical guidance on how to kick start a conversation, to information on different education pathways, the tools are designed to give parents the confidence to have meaningful career conversations with their children.
To help launch the campaign, parents of some of the UK’s top performers in their field, including double Olympic swimming champion Becky Adlington; JLS band member and farmer JB Gill; and barrister, author and campaigner Alexandra Wilson (also known as the ‘Essex Barrister’) where interviewed to offer their experiences of how they approached career conversations with their children.
Reflecting on the launch, Michelle Rea, Gatsby's spokesperson for Talking Futures, said: “Whether we realise it or not, all the evidence points to us parents having a pivotal role in our children’s education and career choices, and a significant influence on the decisions they go on to make. That said, compared to when parents themselves were leaving school or college, young people nowadays have such different choices available to them. So, it’s no wonder that parents can feel overwhelmed when it comes to starting career related conversations, especially when we are often having them for the first time around stressful milestones like GCSE option decision making. At Gatsby, it’s our hope that this new campaign helps parents feel a bit more confident and relaxed about career conversations with their children, by providing them with straightforward guidance and support that they would like to have and that is right for them.”
Nicola Hall, Director of Education at The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “Helping young people to find their best next step in life couldn’t be more important. Parents, alongside their teachers, play an exceptionally important role in making this happen. This new support for parents will be a gamechanger – increasing their confidence and their ability to have conversations about jobs, whether to progress in academic or technical education or choosing different routes like high quality apprenticeships.”