October 22 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, April 5, 2014
It’s a question that sometimes even adults struggle with: What do I want to do when I grow up?
But children as young as nine in Camden have already been told to start thinking about their career paths and how to take steps towards achieving their dream job.
More than 200 pupils from 23 Camden primary schools listened to guest speakers, including a 14-year-old game developer, give an insight into their jobs at Camden’s first careers conference for primary schoolchildren.
Bavaani Nanthabalan, headteacher of Torriano Junior School, Kentish Town, and executive headteacher of Netley Primary School, Euston, ran the conference in partnership with Camden Council.
She said it is never too early for children to start thinking about their career options.
“We have careers fairs going on in the secondary sector, but I feel that it is a little too late,” she said. “We need to start in primary schools.
“It’s really important that we start with children and make them aware of the opportunities out there and the experiences they could have in their career.
“It’s not just about going to university and getting a job that way, but learning about getting apprenticeships and other kinds of opportunities.”
Children, aged from nine to 11, took part in workshops run by businesses at the conference last week, including Camden Town arts venue the Roundhouse and Goldsmiths jewellers.
They also visited stalls run by London Zoo, the Metropolitan Police and the NHS, among others.
The pupils heard from a spoken word artist, an illustrator, the chief executive of a computing company, and Darran Garnham, a development officer who grew popular online children’s game Moshi Monsters into a global brand.
They also listened to 14-year-old Irish gaming entrepreneur Jordan Casey talk about how he learned to code at the age of nine and has built his own gaming app, which flew to the top of the iTunes app charts in Ireland.
Ms Nanthabalan said: “Some of the children come from homes where they don’t have rich experiences.
“It’s not going to be a problem for some, but many children don’t have the same opportunities and they need to start [looking at jobs] much earlier.
“That’s why the strapline for the conference is: ‘Steps I take, marks I make’.
“The idea is that children don’t just come to the conference, and then don’t understand and go away again, but that they become career champions.”