Children in primary school might seem too young to start thinking about careers. But they begin to develop ideas about the world around them and the jobs they could do from an early age.
Choices and decisions
While there are no career decisions to make in primary school, children will start to develop their understanding of the world of work.
Careers work in primary school might include:
- Understanding why people work
- Helping children see that there are lots of different jobs
- Encouraging them to be excited about the future and its possibilities
- Challenging stereotypes and helping them know that opportunities are there for everyone
- Starting to learn and understand the words we use to talk about jobs, work and skills
- Starting to recognise what they like and don’t like doing
- Realising that hobbies and interests help develop useful skills
- Helping them to understand that doing their best will give them more choices in the future
Ways we support your child
We have resources for primary school teachers to use with pupils.
- Careers City - to encourage discussion and raise awareness
- CareersCraft - available in the Minecraft Marketplace
- Short ‘About Jobs’ videos on YouTube showing different jobs and the skills they need
Our careers and work-related experiences co-ordinators run training events for primary teachers. These help them include careers in their lessons.
In February each year our Education Business Partnership invites primary schools to take part in Career Discovery Week. This is an online event with information and activities involving employers across Wales.
We have tips to help primary schools get employers into the classroom. If you love your job, why not offer to visit your child’s school to speak to the pupils?
Time to talk
Early conversations about work and career ideas will help your child. They are a way to develop useful vocabulary and confidence. It gives your child plenty of time to reflect on their ideas and preferences – and to change their mind. And it makes it easier to have meaningful conversations later on when your child does have to make a decision.
An idea to try...
Our About Jobs videos are a collection of 2 to 3 minute videos on YouTube showing what it's like to do different jobs. You could use these as a starting point for a conversation.
Ask your child:
- Which one would they like to watch first?
- What made them choose that one?
- What do they think that job involves?
- Do they think they would like to do that job? Why? Why not?
Watch the video together and chat about what you’ve seen.
Now you could explore:
- Was the job what they expected?
- What did they think was the best thing about the job?
- What was the worst thing about the job?
- Do they feel differently about whether they would like to do that job now?
- Is there another one they would like to watch?
- Is there a job they would like to find out more about? Perhaps one that's not included in the videos.
Use Job Information to find out more about over 700 different jobs.