Locally, 57% of children don’t have a GCSE Maths and/or English grade A-C before arriving at college aged 16. With the experience and knowledge in our education system, the technology at our disposal and the business environment we have in the UK, I find this both staggering and disappointing.
Why is this happening, and what are we doing wrong?
One cause may be that the younger generation are often lacking in aspiration and don’t know where to get their inspiration from. Without aspiration, they don’t know what to get involved in or what opportunities to pursue. We need to give them aspiration, and not just through careers leaflets and dull talks.
The idea for this blog came from the Ideal Home Show, nothing to do with education but I believe the model can be transferred over. At the show a house is built inside an exhibition centre. It is realistic and I can see exactly how a product or idea would work in my own home and get all the information I need from the professionals before I invest.
What if we could show the younger generation how careers work, in a controlled environment, before they invest?
My proposition (or aspiration!), the UK’s first ‘aspirational hub.’
The physical hub (a large, open-plan building) is a base for businesses to set up a realistic environment in which to showcase what a career with them entails. A house can be built, removed and rebuilt, so students who are considering becoming a plasterer, painter or electrician can have a go. Another section can be turned into a hospital ward so budding doctors and nurses can have a go on an operating table (volunteer patients apply within). Another can be an office environment, another where students can take to pieces a Rolls Royce engine or fix car parts. Whatever they aspire to be, students can use the hub to have a go at careers in a controlled, safe, but realistic environment, with no consequences if it goes wrong.
Aspirations need to come from somewhere, and as local businesses we have responsibility to help students to find them.
The two main issues that stand out to me are funding and running it. The government are complaining about lack of skills but aren’t doing much about it, so maybe they can help with the funding part. In the East Midlands we have some very strong universities as well as high profile businesses, who need to rally together to support the younger generation and encourage them to work hard to build successful careers so maybe they can run it...
For Geldards and all other businesses, it is so important to take notice of the next generations. We need to support them as they are the future of our businesses. Let’s give them the best head start by enabling them to try different options, decide what they enjoy and what they need, and work hard to be the best that they can be.
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