Truro based design consultancy Creative Edge has worked with the education charity Ablaze and major sponsors GE to support Bristol City Councils ‘My Future My Choice' programme, by creating a unique teaching aid to help raise the career aspirations of primary and secondary school children.
It is now on trial in Bristol schools with the aim of being rolled out to schools across the UK. See what schools are saying about the cards. Originated by Creative Edge's design team this unique and fun card game helps teachers and GE Corporate Citizenship volunteers when they go into schools to give them a broader understanding of the "World of Work". This is particularly relevant at a time when government figures show a falling knowledge of work options amongst younger children.
The pack of 52 illustrated, colourful and graphically designed cards each contain easily readable information about individual careers, ranking the multitude of different skills needed for any profession and suggesting family groupings with similar skills. It was important to show that no skill or profession was better than any other profession, just different, and that similar skills were needed for lots of different careers.
There are rules for five games that can be played with the one pack, but the children have already made up their own game whilst trialling the cards, showing how involved they became.
The teachers love them too as they can be used in many different ways, either individually or in groups, to stimulate discussion and inspire their pupils about future career choices and the vast range of options available.
Melinda Rickett, partner at Creative Edge said: "We were approached by GE, ABLAZE and Bristol City Council to come up with some ideas to help the company's Corporate Citizenship programme volunteers discuss career aspirations with local school children. We looked at ideas surrounding why people chose certain lines of work and the skills needed to fulfil these roles and then came up with the ‘My Future My Choice' cards theme to demonstrate the range of careers available and the skills required."
Ablaze is a charity that is involved in a wide range of educational projects nationally. GE has taken the lead in the My Future My Choice project that started with children's performances at Bristol's Old Vic to broaden their horizons when it came to career choices.
The majority of children in year 5 in Bristol state schools attended these performances. 2131 nine and ten year olds completed a pre and post performance survey to give a snapshot of what job thought they might do in the future. The survey showed that after only a brief look at some of the jobs available in the world, children's aspirations will shift away from a stereotypically narrow band of jobs towards more realistic or professional aspirations. 203 fewer children wanted to be footballers, hairdressers or builders after the one hour show. In July 2009, after a full year working with the programme's volunteers and resources these children will be surveyed again.
Ruth Bedingham, from the GE Corporate Citizenship programme said: "Our previous invovlement in the My Future My Choice project demonstrated that we had begun to make progress in broadening children's expectations and wanted to build on this.
"We needed to make it interesting for our volunteers and the children when they went into schools, so approached Creative Edge who had already done a great job with the iCount project which launched the GE Corporate Citizenship volunteer scheme earlier this year.
"The results have been fantastic and Creative Edge has produced a really imaginative piece of work, which will no doubt be an excellent tool in helping younger children open their minds to a range of exciting careers beyond their existing knowledge."
GE has a history of philanthropic work and through schemes like My Future My Choice is keen to inspire children to do the best they can and help build a work force for the future.
"We believe that it is vital businesses get involved in education to inspire, share real world experiences and encourage children to look outside of their own daily lives or what they see on television," said Ruth Bedingham. "Through these cards and the My Future My Choice scheme we will hopefully give children the confidence to strive for any career they want regardless of background."