I agree careersmum about the lack of connection between school and work. When I was at school in the 1970s, I distinctly remember thinking we should be taught more about how the world works and it feels sometimes as if things haven't moved on much.
One interesting thing, though: as a careers adviser occasionally working in schools, I have come across many young people who feel they're too young to be thinking about their future. This often applies to year 9s, but also to many year 10 and even some year 11 students.
It sounds as though the career advice given out in schools is as useless as it was 6 - 8 years ago, middle child was told to do 'travel and tourism' as she liked holidaying abroad!! She got three A's at alevel and the youngest was told that as he liked shooting - was in the cadets - and didn't want to sit at a desk in an office then he should be a gamekeeper - yes a good choice because we, as a country, are always in need of more gamekeepers!!! Needless to say I told them both to ignore any other career advice they got unless they asked me about it first! One is now a teacher, the other is going to be on a graduate scheme in a major high street shop!
Olderkids qualified careers advisers are not so directive, and I'd be very surprised if one told your kids they "should do travel and tourism/be a gamekeeper". They have either been selective in what they reported back to you, or the person they saw wasn't a careers adviser.
A suggestion may have been made based on the conversation that took place. In exploring career options, it would be normal practice to ask a young person about their interests outside school, and if someone mentioned that they enjoyed travelling it's not unreasonable to ask if they have considered studying or working in travel and tourism.
The gamekeeper suggestion sounds like something thrown out by one of the computer career matching programs: these programs usually suggest a range of possible careers based on a students' answers to a range of questions. It's a real job and suits some people and as a careers adviser I wouldn't avoid mentioning it just because it's a small industry.
If I sound irritated, it's because I am saddened to see such sweeping judgments applied to careers advice. It is much needed and much appreciated by many young people, and in danger of disappearing without the support of the general public, including parents.
I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to comment.
~ First off did you know there was a National Careers Service for young people adults and have you / your DC ever used it?
Yes, I used the National Careers Service a couple of years ago when I was thinking of retraining in various areas (didn't in the end due to child care issues). I had some excellent advice from someone who had a huge amount of experience and was able to advise on various very different options. I think people assume they deal with apprentice type roles, but they were well versed on post-grad options too. I have recommended them many times since to other people.
~ Are your children getting any careers advice in schools and if so what sort of age has that happened?
Nope - the engineering sector has its act together and ran an event in Yr 7, but nothing else.
~ And what sort of career aspirations do you have for your children?
They can do exactly what they want so long as they get a degree first