Blog

Parent Career Coaching, a new approach to ensure a work ready generation

August 17, 2017

“We cannot rely on a wholly neglected system of careers guidance and education that is currently failing to provide an adequate provision in most schools, colleges and universities. The speed of change in the world of work will not slow down to let the institutions catch up.”

A recent tweet from Careers England states that they are still waiting for a coherent government strategy and investment to be announced that will encourage all schools and colleges to provide career programmes and personal career guidance that properly address the needs of individual young people. 

I believe it is now time for parents to step in and actively take responsibility, to trust in their own ability to learn, unlearn or relearn what it takes to help their sons and daughters make wise career choices. It is parents who have the interests of their young people at heart and are the people consistently motivated and concerned about what the future holds for their offspring.

For many years there hasn’t been a clear vision for career guidance. A recent research report by Sir John Holman, clearly shows what ‘good career guidance’ could look like in schools. However, there is no role for parents apart from keeping them informed! 

We cannot rely on a wholly neglected system of careers guidance and education that is currently failing to provide an adequate provision in most schools, colleges, and universities. The speed of change in the world of work will not slow down to let the institutions catch up.

The challenge now.

Career management is still not seen as a priority investment for the future life chances of young adults and their consequent contribution to the economy. We spend less than 1% of the education budget in this country specifically preparing young people for their future career choices.

Many schools, colleges, and universities do not even know the career aspirations or the career destinations of their students. In too many educational institutions, career choice is believed to happen by osmosis! It is reprehensible that today when there are so many exciting options and career pathways available, that most young people are unaware of them, or if they are, come across them by accident.

There is no shortage of information about jobs, training, apprenticeships or university and college courses. In fact, some young people find the amount of career information overwhelming. In the past, a lot of careers information was provided but the problem facing many young people is that they simply don’t know how to choose, and thus major ‘decisions points’ are missed. 

In the absence of self-knowledge or adult support, young people cannot be blamed for taking the easiest route possible. They often listen to the recommendations of the uninformed or disengage from making any choice at all, until an unexpected, or catalytic event, occurs that forces a choice.

Receiving A-level results this week might be such an event for some young people!

At such a time, careers companies, schools, colleges, and universities pull out all the stops to help, particularly those young people who haven't achieved their expected results. This process often leaves parents and their sons and daughters anxious and completely out of control. It is all too little, too late. 

The role of the Parent Career Coach

With the challenges facing young people and their parents in a fast moving , complex job market it is now time for some fresh thinking and a new approach. Having conversations with a savvy parent before choices are made, and knowing all the potential options regardless of exam results, leaves young people confident and in the driving seat. Regardless of their circumstances, young people need to feel they can make appropriate choices about their future for themselves. Parents are best placed to give that informed challenge and support since research shows parents are the biggest influence on a child’s career aspirations. Unfortunately parents have told us that they feel ill-equipped to identify the options necessary for their young people to make an informed career choice.

“I believe it is now time for parents to step in and actively take responsibility, to trust in their own ability to learn, unlearn or relearn what it takes to help their sons and daughters make wise career choices.”

The “Parent Career Coach” website with further information about developing skills to help make career choices will be coming soon in September 2017. Should you want to get in touch please contact Barbara@patersonconsultancy.com

Tags: Parent Career CoachCoachingCareers