Our work to support good career guidance, as schools and colleges embed the Gatsby Benchmarks, has led us to further explore the role of parents*, carers and guardians in the career guidance of their children.
It is widely recognised that parents are the most influential force in a young person’s career and education decision-making. However, it can be difficult to fully understand the variety of pathways which lead to different occupations, and parents may not have the most up to date information about different education routes and the reality of jobs and industries. The landscape of technical education is also undergoing significant change, as exemplified by the introduction of T-Levels from 2020. Therefore, as well as ensuring that young people have access to high quality career guidance, we need to give parents the same opportunity to learn more about different pathways and careers.
Career guidance is particularly important for those young people without the social capital to support them to explore the labour market and make informed decisions about courses and occupations, but equally, parents with high social capital may not be aware of the range of options available. We want parents to understand and embrace the important part they can play alongside schools and colleges in supporting their children.
Gatsby is therefore committed to exploring how best to provide information and support to parents, via schools and colleges, to help their children (age 11 -18) make decisions about education options and future careers. We have started this work with a programme of research to understand current practice and the needs of parents, students and schools and colleges, as detailed below.
*When using the term parents throughout this page, we are also referring to carers and guardians.