Primary Futures What’s my Line? with Mayor of London Boris Johnson

On the 25th June 2015 at City Hall, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP published a major new report on careers provision for young people. The report said that every young Londoner should have completed at least 100 hours experience of the world of work, in some form, by the time they reach the age of 16 – and that it should begin in primary schools.

The launch started with Boris Johnson taking part in a Primary Futures ‘What’s my line?’ involving 40 primary school children trying to guess the jobs of 6 volunteers by asking them a series of questions.  The volunteers went go off stage and Boris invited them back individually to see if the children were correct. Each volunteer returned to the stage in a uniform or with a prop relating to their job. All 6 volunteers have a link to the Mayor e.g. a female bike welder, his publisher and a male celebrity hairdresser.

This activity had a serious point of breaking down job gender stereotyping and getting children to think about the range of jobs and the people who do them.

Jack Morris, OBE, Member of the London Enterprise Panel said: “The recommendations set out in this report give our young people the tools they need to set out on their careers with the skills their employer expects. The success of this initiative now relies on the commitment and collaboration of all schools, colleges, employers, local authorities, careers specialists and training providers.”

Dr Deirdre Hughes, OBE author of the report ‘London Ambitions: Shaping a successful careers offer for all young Londoners’ says: “There is a clear moral, social and economic purpose to improving careers provision for all young Londoners. Support for young people has stalled and most are getting a raw deal – It is not enough to just to pay lip service to careers support for them. More young people must be given the chance to gain more experiences of the world of work and be inspired to see possibilities and goals that are worthwhile and relevant to them. The London careers offer is aiming to achieve something new and positive, starting with career insights from an early age and building up to 100 hours of experiences of the world of work by the age of 16.”

Russell Hobby, NAHT general secretary said: “There is widespread agreement that there’s a real benefit in talking to children at an early age about the jobs they might do when they’re grown up and how important their primary school learning really is in terms of future opportunities. Careers advice shouldn’t have to wait until children get to secondary school.”

Headteacher Sash Hamidi, whose pupils are taking part, said: “At Priestmead we believe all learning experiences should be vivid and inspiring – children will never be inspired by a “worksheet”, but they remember those special experiences during Primary years which planted a seed of inspiration. With the Primary Futures team we are able to show children that what they learn in school can help to shape and transform their future opportunities, through the vast range of volunteers from so many different professions who come directly into school.  The volunteers are simply brilliant – enthusiastic, passionate and most importantly, they help children to start to think differently about what their future careers might be.”

Celebrity hairdresser and What’s my line? volunteer Lee Stafford said: “Finding a job that you love, will mean you never have to do a day’s work in your life. This may mean kissing a few frogs on the journey, so having the opportunity to try different industries is priceless.”

Rupert Lancaster, Publisher, Hodder & Stoughton and What’s my line? volunteer said: “As a parent and a primary school governor I know first-hand how important it is for children to access properly-funded employment advice, so they can to find out about the broadest possible selection of careers while they’re still at school. And as a publisher I know that the success of our business depends on attracting a wide range of talented people.”

Read the FINAL Media Release Boris Johnson What’s my Line

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