Education and Employers and OECD launch joint report on the future of primary education and jobs

On Wednesday 23 January, the OECD and the UK-based charity Education and Employers launched a new report in Davos during the World Economic Forum:  Envisioning the Future of Education and Jobs: Trends, Data and Drawings.

The report looks at the future of education and jobs and the challenges and opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It concluded that the skills mismatch observed in the labour market has its roots in primary school, and that giving all children, regardless of gender and social background, the same chance to meet professionals in a variety of fields is the key to widening their view of the world of work.

The World Economic Forum featured an article by our CEO Nick Chambers on main its website Agenda:

And on the day before for the first time World Economic Forum delegates visited the Davos primary school to emphasise the importance of engaging with young children to help ignite their ambitions.

“We now know that this mismatch is set at a young age and heavily influenced by socio-economic background, gender and the role models seen by children,” says Nick Chambers, CEO of Education and Employers. “This means we need to engage with children early on to help inspire their interests and career aspirations. They are our future workforce and key to the success of the fourth industrial revolution.”

In the ‘Drawing the Future’ global report that the charity launched at Davos last year, more than 20,000 primary school children were asked to draw the job they wanted to do when they grow up.  Only 1% knew about a job from someone visiting school.  36% based their careers aspirations on someone they know with 45% being influenced by TV, film and radio.

Findings also highlighted how gender stereotyping exists from the age of seven.  Over four times the number of boys wanted to become engineers compared to girls with nearly double the number of boys aspiring to become scientists compared to girls.  Conceptions of traditional femininity specifically ideas around ‘caring and nurturing’ may explain why two and half times the number of girls wanted to become doctors compared to boys.  Measures of disadvantage also played a part. In less disadvantaged areas, boys are more likely to choose engineer over mechanic with girls, likely to choose architect rather than hairdresser.

We are always looking for more volunteers to go into school to change this.  Just one hour a year can make an enormous impact on children, especially those from more disadvantaged backgrounds.   The Inspiring the Future and Primary Futures programmes which the charity runs are versatile, easy to use and free.  The charity also runs Inspiring Governance which gives volunteers the opportunity to become a school governor and develop their strategic and board level skills. It comes with a free CPD on governance. 

Our Primary Futures and Inspiring the Future Campaigns are designed for primary and secondary schools.  They are easy and free to use.

Our latest report produced for Teach First provides practical advice of how to embed careers-related learning into the primary curriculum.  If you would like to know more about how schools can get involved please contact  –

The charity’s vital research, endorsed by government and business, underpins all the programmes that they run.  It examines the impact of what happens to young people when they meet with employers for more information visit our research pages.

To sign up to volunteer just go to or

We also partner with employers and networks including geographical areas to support staff/member volunteering schemes check out how we’re working with Dorset for Inspiring the Future – If you’re interested in discussing this further please contact us – Katy Hampshire, Director of Operations and Programmes ( or Dominic Judge, Head of Governance Programmes  (

To accompany the report, the OECD produced this short video: