A specific study on children has highlighted the importance for them to experience with people who do different jobs in order to build a personal inspiration for their future!
In the USA, a big survey asked primary school children aged 6 to 10 to draw the work of their dreams. The Drawing the Future survey also asked participants if they personally knew someone who did that job, or how they knew about that job; their favorite subject, their ethnicity; social, economic and educational data to the aim to identify the most influencing factors in career choices. More than 20,000 data were collected from children from Australia, Belarus, Bangladesh, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Uganda and Zambia.
The kinds of job children designed, and the reasons why they liked to do that kind of job work (for example, “I want to be a doctor, so I can help the sick children in poor countries”) show children’s hopes and dreams, that is our future. The results are truly special:
- career aspirations origin at the age of 7 and do not change until 18;
- there is a strong difference between the children career aspirations and the demands of the job market.
- less than 1% of children meet people with roles in the job market who visit their school.
The latest figure has clearly worrying economic implications, in particular in the fats-growing sectors. Children and kids’ career aspirations hardly correspond to the expected demand in the job market.
Generally speaking, children are strongly influenced by what they experience: their parents’ job, or their friends’ parents job, or the roles on TV.
That is why a very interesting project, Primary Futures, has collected volunteers from all over the world and from different professional categories, from apprentices to Managing Directors, from app designers to zoologists, in order to dedicate one hour of their time to local school and informally talk to the children about their work and their professional path. The children had the opportunity to interact with the volunteers and ask questions, broadening their aspirations and horizons.
Technology offers the great opportunity of connecting a large number of volunteers and schools at a minimal cost: for example, a system created by Salesforce (a large IT company) is already active in UK, Australia and China. The system allows schools to access a large database of volunteers willing to meet the children and tell their experiences.
In Italy it would be really cool to offer this opportunity to children: everyone can make their contribution voluntarily. Everyone can start giving up one hour of free time to inspire future generations!