As part of National Careers Week 2020, we want to champion the CEAIG (careers education, advice, information and guidance) that our Talent Coaches offer to the young people they work with.
National Careers Week is traditionally a week for promoting the importance of good pre-18 careers education.
High quality careers advice in schools and colleges is invaluable, but, many young people who are not in education, employment or training, continue to need careers guidance if they are to realise their potential and move into work.
The manner in which this is delivered is vital for engaging young people who can be incredibly low on confidence. Some of these young people disengaged from education, missing out on careers advice at an earlier stage.
We spoke to Dora Mallott, our Talent Coach at Bolton Lads and Girls Club, and Janet Whitehead, our Talent Coach at Upturn Enterprise, to see how they offer careers guidance to the young people they work with on GM's Hidden Talent.
What is the value in young people getting careers advice from a Talent Coach?
DM: The careers advice from Talent Coaches is delivered in an informal relaxed way where we can give time to the young people, sit down with a brew and chat about the things they’re interested in, what their skills are and what skills they need to gain. Over a longer period of time we consult with them on what jobs suit them/what jobs they’d like to do.
JW: We work within the ‘real world’. We see current labour market trends and have contacts with local employers and other agencies to gain access to ‘real’ opportunities. We have relationships with Jobcentre Plus and remain aware of changes within the welfare system. We have opportunities for volunteering and training. With no ‘hidden’ agendas or league tables to satisfy, we only act in the best interests of the young people.
What careers guidance do your young people on GM’s Hidden Talent typically need?
JW: Generally, they need to know what their options are: what they can do, what is on offer, what they can’t do with the skills and experiences they have. They need help with identifying pathways and ‘ways’ into employment.
DM: Typical careers advice for our young people is quite basic due to their level of needs: the majority of young people I work with aren’t ‘job ready’. It’s therefore more holistic support I’m giving - meaning the careers advice is more about looking at work experience placements, CV & mock interview skills as well as job searching support.
What is your starting point for guiding young people who have no idea what they want to do?
JW: The starting point is different with each young person, especially if they don’t know what they want to do. I find out what their interests are and what they are good at. I suggest trying volunteering to see what something is like before they commit and use the National Careers job profiles website to look at the skills and experiences that jobs demand.
DM: I look at what they enjoy doing, and encourage young people to get out of the house to build confidence, as well as looking at courses such as the Prince’s Trust programmes.
How do you help under-confident young people to identify where their strengths lie?
DM: Creating a CV is a simple and easy way of identify a young person’s strengths. I also support young people to access certain types of courses that focus on confidence and ‘hand hold’ them through the process to then reflect upon it once finished the course.
JW: We look back at what they have done and enjoyed before e.g. gardening for Grandma or helping Mum at a car boot. We look at school and what they enjoyed and encourage them to try new things. You don’t know if you are any good at something until you’ve tired it. We manage expectations, reinforce positive behaviours, reward hard work and embrace failure and accept personal limitations (no one is good at everything). We encourage asking for help / trying harder / sticking to things when the going gets tough.