As a parent or carer there is plenty you can do to support your child and help them to make successful career choices. It is important to be aware of your influence and to make that influence as positive as possible.
Joanne McKinney, careers manager for Coleraine, Limavady and Ballymoney in the Department for Employment and Learning’s Careers Service suggests how you can help your child with their future career plans.
“The obvious place to start would be with the Careers Service’s “A Guide for Parents - how to help your child with future career plans” which is available on http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/parents-zone. This guide aims to help parents understand the range of options and support available at key transition stages. It highlights the importance of parents encouraging their child to research information about current trends and future employment opportunities and to consider these against abilities and aspirations.
“Another useful resource are the job trend fact sheets, which can be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk/job-trends. These fact sheets provide local and up to date information on employment opportunities, qualification requirements, wages and job trends within a variety of occupational sectors in Northern Ireland. They provide an analysis of current and future employment trends within 24 industries in Northern Ireland. The information within these factsheets should be considered by anyone of any age planning a career or weighing up future study options.
“There are job opportunities across all occupational areas in Northern Ireland but there is higher demand in occupations relating to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Encourage your child to explore ‘newer’ job titles as this will help ensure your children’s choices are not based on a small number of career areas.
“Encourage your child to talk about their careers ideas and plans. Ensure that they research their ideas thoroughly. Remember that not everyone has a clear idea what they want to do so your child’s career ideas may change as they get older.
“The support of parents is really important when key decisions are being made such as choosing subjects for GCSE’s or A levels or deciding what to do after year 12, the end of compulsory school education.
“Attending parents’ evenings will give you a better understanding of how your child is performing at school and schools’ Careers Conventions will enable you to hear first hand about opportunities and career paths available. Encourage your child to attend Open Days to find out more about possible courses or training.
“You may not always think it, but you greatly influence their decision making. However, keep in mind that your child’s choices and decisions should be based on their aspirations, abilities and future employment opportunities. It should not just be what you as a parent may want for them.”
The Department for Employment and Learning recently launched a new ‘Skills to Succeed’ campaign aimed at highlighting the importance of skills and qualifications for individuals, employers and the economy. The campaign encourages individuals and employers seeking to develop their own skills and those of their workforce to find out what programmes and assistance is available by visiting http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/skills or by calling 0300 200 7876. You can watch the new Skills to Succeed ad at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j51qUOzhJiY
For further information on all the above visit the Parents Zone section in the Careers Service website www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers > Parents Zone
To contact a careers adviser call 0300 200 7820, Monday - Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm or email us firstname.lastname@example.org