Work after school

Teaching Pupils About the Realities of Work

In order to help pupils develop their employability skills, teachers should always be thinking about how to integrate careers advice into the curriculum. However, this is easier said than done…

Thankfully, the research and training charity IGD has a number of free activities available as part of its Educator Hub, which should make it easier to teach pupils about the realities of work, even if your curriculum is becoming increasingly congested.

How it used to work vs. the challenges of today

In years gone by, it was the job of careers advisers to help students identify their calling in life and provide an overview of different workplaces. But for most schools, circumstances have now changed, leaving it to teachers to provide this guidance as part of the standard curriculum.

With so many different career pathways open to young people, linking job roles to lesson plans is no mean feat. But this is where IGD can help with its school training programmes and the provision of free teaching resources.

How IGD’s Educator Hub can help

In addition to a range of classroom presentations, case studies and activities that aim to improve the skillset of students, IGD also specialises in providing background information on the food and grocery industry – its main focus.

Despite the fact this industry employs 1 in 7 across the UK, many people are surprised by the variety of jobs available in food and groceries. IGD wants to help more students understand the different career pathways on offer and inspire them to use their strengths when entering the world of work.

But how does this relate to the standard curriculum? Well, the Educator Hub links school subjects back to careers, meaning that teachers can use the activities provided in most lessons and meet Gatsby benchmark 4. Seeing as a focus is placed on employability skills, the activities are transferable and relevant across various subject areas too.

Each lesson encourages self-reflection and asks students to consider their strengths. This makes it easier to envision potential career paths and real-life work situations, which includes the relevance of STEM in the food and grocery sector.

The eight skills most sought by employers

Time and time again, the same eight skills come up that are not only highly sought after by employers but also individually valuable for students themselves. They are:

  • Analytical abilities
  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Digital skills
  • Entrepreneurial mindset
  • Leadership
  • Being practical
  • Demonstrating teamwork

In spite of the demand for these attributes, 75 per cent of recruiters in the food and grocery industry say they struggle to find suitable job candidates exhibiting them. Therefore, any student with these skills would have an immediate advantage when entering the world of work.

Making careers advice and the curriculum go hand-in-hand

Careers advice in schools can often be a bit hit and miss, often depending on the individual leading the agenda. But with IGD providing free tools and resources for schools, the process couldn’t be simpler for teachers, who can then focus on helping young people use their skills to best effect.

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