Worktree has a vision that every young person should meet and interview 50 diverse work guests before they leave school. This improves their career awareness and aspirations, and their speaking and listening skills, and raises their motivation to study and attain good results. It helps students get closer to the right job for them.
Worktree’s ‘Career WorkOut 50’ vision calls on MK employers and individuals to commit volunteer hours as work guests in the classroom.
Schools have a duty to provide careers education from age 12 upwards, and local authorities must encourage, enable and assist young people in education or training. But employers increasingly complain that young people are not being prepared adequately for the world of work and Ofsted says careers provision is unsatisfactory.
Research shows that having aspirations improves young people’s attainment and young people are best informed and motivated to plan their work futures by having direct contact with real workers; and the more contact young people have with employers, the better they do in school and work. But not enough is being done to involve schools and businesses in this process. There is too much talk about careers advice and not enough focus on giving young people access to real information about real jobs through real people.
WorkOut a solution
For 15 years, Worktree has been developing a low-cost intervention, ‘Career WorkOut’. This is a simple structured activity involving a series of short exposures to multiple work guests, speed-networking style. Career WorkOut is a one-hour session in which a group of 25-30 students meet 8-10 guests from diverse work backgrounds and ask them questions in groups of 3-4 about their job in a carousel of 6-8 minute interviews. WorkOut has been delivered successfully to more than 10,000 young people of various ages, abilities and backgrounds in MK and also overseas (Africa, China and India).
With sponsorship from MK employers and funding in the first year from grant-giving organisations (see logos below), Worktree will deliver for every young person in three secondary schools a series of 6-8 minute work-related interviews so they meet eight different guest workers in one hour. The plan is to continue with those schools year after year so that every young person has the opportunity to meet and interview 50 guest workers before leaving school.
 ‘Going in the right direction? Careers guidance in schools’, Ofsted, 2014
 ‘Do Primary School Children’s Career Aspirations Matter?’, Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education, 2012.
 ‘Ways into Work Views of Children and Young People on Education and Employment’, City & Guilds, 2012.
 ‘It’s Who You Meet’, Employers & Education Taskforce, 2012.