Drawing the Future – survey and competition

Education and Employers is excited to announce the launch of a landmark national survey and competition. The charity is undertaking the survey in partnership with the NAHT, the TES and University College London Institute of Education and in collaboration with OECD Education and Skills.

The Drawing the Future survey, the first of its kind, asks primary school children aged 7 – 11 to draw a picture of the job they want to do when they grow up.

This important national survey aims to find out more about children’s career aspirations and gain a better understanding of the factors that may be influencing their choices. A number of other countries are also taking part.


The survey will hope to gain a better understanding of the breadth of their horizons, and to see if their social background, who they know and the media is influencing this. Our two minute film clip Redraw the Balance, showing the reality of gender specific stereotyping by children as young as six, has been viewed 33 million times on YouTube and Facebook:


In addition to the UK, we have a number of primary schools from other countries taking part in the survey and competition.

Primary Futures

It is hoped that the results of the survey and drawing competition will help highlight the importance of role models in primary schools, an issue we are addressing in the UK through the Primary Futures programme. Primary Futures aims to ensure that children can see the meaning and relevance of the subjects they are studying and in doing so become more motivated and achieve better education outcomes. The programme helps children to better understand the world they are growing up in, and make sure they are aware of the vast range of options open to them and are not ruling out things at an early age.

How primary schools in the UK can be involved

Please send all completed entries, as well as the school cover sheet, by October 23rd 2017.

Download the guidelines for UK teachers. (PDF) Please read this document which contains detailed information about how to take part.

Download the Drawing the Future survey for children to complete. (PDF) To be printed out and completed by your children – UK only.

Download the UK school cover sheet.  (PDF)To be filled in and sent with all completed surveys.

Outside the UK and would like to take part? Email Jordan.rehill@educationandemployers.org for more information.

Research undertaken by the charity 

The survey follows on from a previous report by the charity which mapped the career aspirations of 10,729 British teenagers aged 13-18 against the projected demand for UK employment over the period 2010-2020 (some 13.5 million jobs) across 25 occupational areas. The report included full details of teenage occupational aspirations segmented by age and by the type of school attended. Statistical analysis of the association between the career aspirations of teenagers and projected labour market demand found the career aspirations of teenagers had nothing in common with the projected demand for labour in the UK.

The full findings from this report and others by the research team are available on our free online searchable library. Read more here.