Information for Parents
A child is never too young to be thinking about their future plans and aspirations. Students who have clear personal goals and career ambitions are more likely to make progress in school, attain good exam results and secure an appropriate pathway to a fulfilling and happy future.
Aspirations and career plans may develop and alter significantly between year 7 and 11 but having an on-going dialogue about possible higher education and career choices can improve motivation, enthusiasm, increase aspirations and develop goal for all students.
Together with a range of career professionals, businesses and training providers we will support your son’s/daughter’s career development in a number of ways including:
- Information and discussion in lessons and assemblies to help them make decisions about their future
- Activities and events such as our 16+ Evening for Year 11, employability days, mock interviews and careers fairs for all year groups.
- Access to careers advice in a variety of ways including Careers Clinics and Drop in Sessions during school time and evening Careers Clinics for students and their parents/carers to attend, with the opportunity to speak to our Independent Careers Adviser.
- Weekly one-to-one careers appointments for Year 10 and 11 students and specific targeted students who fall under the SEN/vulnerable category. You are welcome to attend your son/daughter's appointment, please contact Mrs Gratton if you need any more help or information. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Open Door availability of Mrs Gratton in the Careers Department for any questions or concerns
- Information and updates on a number of noticeboards around school, common resources on the school network, plasma screens, the school website and our Twitter page. (follow us on Twitter at @HHCareersDept)
How can you help your child to make the right decisions?
For many young people, a career may seem a long way off but decisions they make about education and training now, may affect their options later on.
Here are some very simple and practical steps you can take to support your son/daughter with career decisions and their post-16 destination choices
- Talk to your son/daughter about their current educational attainment and estimated grades and encourage them to do their best and aim high.
- Talk to your son/daughter about careers they are interested in. Find out what they already know and encourage them to visit school's website and the careers library to find out more.
- Discuss where they want to be and research how to get there (there are lots of great resources and information on 16+ providers in the school's careers library and in the careers section of the school website, including apprenticeship information).
- Encourage your son/daughter to find out about what courses, apprenticeships, jobs and training opportunities are available locally and encourage them to explore all of the learning options available to them from age 16. N.B. Post-16 education or training is now compulsory up to the age of 18 years.
- Encourage them to seek out the advice and experiences they need to help them achieve their goals (experience will help to enhance their CV and increase their employability).
- Make the most of the 16+ providers' open day/evening events, many of these are currently offered virtually as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is important that your son/daughter explores all options available in order to ensure that the choice they make is the best one for them as an individual.
FAQ's FOR PARENTS
Q – My child is thinking about an apprenticeship. Aren’t they just for mechanics, builders and hairdressers?
There are apprenticeships available in a huge range of careers, including those which might be considered as traditionally academic. Apprenticeships are available in law, business as well as the care sector, engineering, hospitality, IT, retail and many, many more. An apprenticeship will offer your son/daughter the opportunity to get a nationally recognised qualification whilst gaining practical experience and earning while they learn. Apprenticeships are available at levels equivalent to A-levels or a degree.
You can find out more about apprenticeships at www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-parents-guide-to-apprenticeships
Q – What A level subjects should I encourage my son/daughter to do? He/she hasn’t got a clue what to pick
If your son/daughter has some careers ideas, they should explore what subjects are essential and desirable for those careers. If he/she is thinking about going to university, some courses have specific A-level entry requirements, so investigate those.
If you son/daughter is unsure about their longer term plans, the best advice is to encourage them to keep their options open by choosing subjects that will offer the maximum number of career options. Subjects like English, Maths and Sciences are required for a number of careers and higher education courses. Employers also often ask for these subjects as an indicator of a good general education.
Remember that A levels aren’t the only option for post-16 learning and training. Vocational qualifications and work-based learning such as BTECs/OCR Cambridge Technicals and apprenticeships should also be considered as they provide excellent pathways to many careers. It is also important that your son/daughter enjoys the course of study they have chosen which should motivate them to continue with their studies.
Q – What are UTCs (University Technical Colleges) and will it help my son/daughter’s career to attend one?
UTCs are government funded schools for 14-19 year olds which have been developed in partnership with universities and employers. They specialise in delivering learning skills and development in technical and scientific subjects.
If your son/daughter is keen to pursue a career in a sector such as engineering, manufacturing, health sciences, product design, digital technologies or the build environment, it is worth exploring what a UTC could offer them. Their links with employers and universities provide strong career progression opportunities in these sectors.
Doncaster is lucky enough to now host it's own UTC which is part of the Brighter Futures Learning Partnership Trust. The Doncaster UTC also runs a variety of other A level and vocational courses that are not technology based.
Q – What can I do to help my son/daughter get the employability skills that employers want?
Many employers state that they feel that young people are not ready for the workplace. Schools, colleges and universities provide knowledge and skills but there are many other ways that young people can develop and demonstrate their skills.
Encourage your son/daughter to engage in activities that will require them to learn and grow skills that will help their future career paths. If they are interested in a career which will require them to write, they could create their own blog on a topic that interests them. This will help them to get valuable experience of writing interesting content as well as giving them something to show potential employers.
Consider taking part in out of school activities that will develop confidence and resilience, communication and social skills etc. For example participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Programme or the National Citizen Service Programme (NCS). Find out more at https://www.dofe.org/do/ and https://wearencs.com/
Q – My son/daughter knows what career he/she wants to do. How do I find out what the best route for them to follow?
For most careers there are a number of entry routes. Some routes are based on qualifications achieved, others are based on previous knowledge of a workplace.
It is not always the ‘typical’ route into careers that is followed, as although many employers have structured graduate, school leaver and apprenticeship programmes in which they take young people on, they will also recruit people who have gained experience elsewhere. Your son/daughter could research employers of the careers that they are interested in, in order to find out what entry schemes they offer.
Q – Is work experience a good idea?
Most young people will get enormous benefit out of some interaction within a work environment. Being in a working environment and interacting with people who they haven’t encountered before helps them to develop skills and can help to confirm whether or not it’s the type of environment that they want to work in.
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, our current year 10 students will not be participating in the work experience programme during 2021. As and when there are any changes to this, we will keep you informed. However, lots of companies are providing the opportunity to take part in virtual work experience programmes in the students’ own time. Virtual work experience, also referred to as online, remote or digital, provides young people with the opportunity to gain experience in the workplace, develop new skills, boost employability and explore new industries and job roles……and this also looks great on future CVs.
Here are some links to other resources which you may find useful in supporting your son/daughter. Please check this section of the website regularly as this will continue to be updated.
http://www.parentadviser.co.uk/ - Help your son/daughter to explore current job roles
https://barclayslifeskills.com/families/ - Tips and advice to help your family build resilience and employability skills for the future
https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/apprentices/help-shape-their-career - Find out about apprenticeships in your area and learn about Apprentices' real stories and experiences
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/ - Providing information, advice and guidance to help with decisions on learning, training and work
https://www.youthemployment.org.uk/careers-advice-for-parents/ - Are apprenticeships right for your son/daughter? Should they be considering BTEC's or T levels? And how can you guide your child to make choices at GCSE and A Level that will set them up for a brighter future? Youth Employment UK provide expert careers advice for parents who want to help their son/daughter understand and explore their next steps.
What are 'T' Levels?
T Levels are new Level 3 courses which are equivalent to 3 A levels. These 2-year courses, which launched September 2020, have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work, further training or study. T Levels offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days).
Please find below a list of the providers who are offering T Level courses up to September 2022:
If your son/daughter is considering Higher education at age 18, the videos below provide more information to help them with their future choices.