A series of community-based projects across Norwich that trialled different approaches to encourage conversations between parents and children about their aspirations, skills and interests.
Share Big Idea:
Head Teachers / School Leaders, Local Authorities, Pastoral and Support Staff, School Teachers
KS1, KS2, KS3
Careers & Aspirations, Community Support, Empowering Young People, Transition
Why was the project needed?
There is a wealth of evidence that the earlier children and young people are exposed to different types of careers, the more likely they are to have broader aspirations for their future selves and are less likely to avoid certain career routes based on stereotypes. Local stakeholders told us that the Norwich Opportunity Area (NOA) must work with parents and communities, as well as children, to inform aspirations and showcase successful role models.
What happened and what was the impact?
The NOA worked with a range of local organisations to create innovative, local projects that facilitated conversations about skills and aspirations through activities and resources. A local project was agreed in 7 areas of the city with high levels of deprivation, as well as three larger scale projects across Norwich, aiming to increase conversations about careers.
Working with Norwich City Council, the NOA set up a grant application process for any organisation keen to be involved.
Organisations were invited to a showcase event to find out more detail about existing assets and issues in each local area and explore options for potentially partnering up with other organisations, submitting an Expression of Interest form with their ideas.
Norwich City Council and the NOA provided feedback and invited organisations to submit formal grant applications, assessed by a panel of partner organisations.
Once successful projects were agreed, the NOA supported organisations to set up links with local schools to promote individual projects and recruit participant pupils and their families.
The NOA worked with a local digital marketing company, FLOCC, to create videos and marketing for the fromNorwich campaign to build awareness and excitement around careers and aspirations in Norwich. A case study has been written about this collaboration: Working With a Digital Marketing Company. Some of the videos created can be accessed in the resources section.
There are also other interesting case studies to look at relating to projects that focused on the primary World of Work (WOW) that can be accessed on this page. Primary WOW has its own Big Idea page:Primary World of Work Activities
What did and didn't work?
Innovative community-based approaches to encouraging conversations about aspirations, skills and future plans are highly successful but need to be embedded within local organisations for messages to be continually shared with children and families, to encourage long term attitudinal change.
Although disrupted by Covid-19, many of the individual projects reported significant positive feedback from participants and high participant numbers from both children and parents/carers. Sessions included exploring different sorts of job roles, understanding the skills and strengths of participants, thinking about what sorts of roles might exist in their community in the future and exploring gender stereotypes relating to work and careers.
Attendance at events varied, for most projects engagement improved over time as those running the projects became familiar and trusted faces. Providers who weren’t already established locally in the communities they were running activities in struggled initially. In future we would give careful consideration to who within the community is best placed to share information with, or to work with, families. Projects based within schools, or working in close partnership with schools found it much easier to recruit participants in activities than community-based organisations. Offering hot food as part of sessions was always a winning strategy!
How did you measure success?
Children who participated started having regular conversations with adults at home about different sorts of jobs and skills, their awareness of different types of job roles increased by at least 50% and confidence about having a job in the future and going to university increased.
Ingredients For Success
Engaging and interactive sessions for parents and children together, led by organisations who were well placed to engage with communities.
Is the Project Complete or Ongoing
The NOA Community Innovation Fund project is now complete.
How is the Project Sustainable
Resources to support conversations about careers, skills and aspirations have been shared and continue to be used by schools and other organisations. Pilot projects have given providers the experience to bid for future funding from other sources and to evaluate projects effectively.
What are the Long Term Impacts
It is difficult to predict the long-term impacts of this project but we are hopeful that that the skills and experience provided and the resources created, which are in the public domain, will continue to have a positive effect on the career opportunities of children and young people in Norwich.
£10,000 per area and up to £30,000 for larger scale projects.
Brilliantly organised and well thought out. I was truly inspired and happy by the positive conversations I heard between parents and children around the tables.
WOW that was 90 minutes of fabulous chatter and activities between parents and kids, it went so fast!
I was nervous being in the class, but felt better after we started looking at the maps and chatting to other parents and kids on my table.
Feedback from people who attended a World of Work Event that came out of the Community Innovation Fund project.
Area Most Impacted
Careers & Aspirations
Empowering Young People
See how others have implemented this Big Idea
Working with a Digital Marketing Company to raise aspirations
WOW Catton Grove provided young people, parents and their extended community with an awareness, knowledge and ownership of the ‘world of work’ within their neighbourhood and beyond. We ran 3 sessions; 'WOW Treasure Hunt' to explore what local jobs makes their neighbourhood 'tick' today.
There is a wealth of evidence that the earlier children and young people are exposed to different types of career, the more likely they are to have broader aspirations for their future selves and are less likely to avoid certain career routes based on stereotypes.
These are a list of Big Idea resources that you can use to implement in your setting:
These videos were designed for the fromNorwich campaign. Please hover your cursor over the top right hand bar icon on the video window and you can access the fromNorwich Playlist that includes 16 different videos. Alternatively, copy the URL link and go directly to the fromNorwich You Tube channel:
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