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• Pilot project aims to increase recruitment opportunities for pupils without family networks

• Innovative approach uses Lockdown learnings to communicate with families

• Year-long trial in Leicestershire and Hull & East Yorkshire awarded £100,000 funding

Parents and carers will receive text messages about local labour markets as part of a year-long project to increase career opportunities for their children.

We Discover Careers Conversations will provide tailored engagement and support needed by parents and carers to use local labour market information to identify careers pathways for hundreds of children.

The Year 9 pilot programme will particularly benefit pupils who are disadvantaged in pursuing their dream careers through not being able to take advantage of existing family networks.

Such networks often open up informal recruitment opportunities – such as job shadowing and work experience placements – which lead to jobs.

Research by Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) found that 93 per cent of 804 parents surveyed did not know about local labour market data in having conversations with youngsters about careers options.

The pilot project is funded by The Careers and Enterprise Company as part of its work to unearth innovative projects which remove barriers around careers. Its initial focus will be on careers in the digital, logistics and green sectors.

The Careers Hubs have been allocated £100,000 to run a year-long pilot aimed at influencing the flow of children and young people into the careers of the future.

It will run in Leicestershire and Hull and East Yorkshire and will use a mix of text messages and events in participating schools and the workplaces of partners including Intelligent Energy, BAE, Holovis and Travis Perkins.

The Hull and East Yorkshire schools are:

• Winifred Holtby Academy, Hull

• Newland School for Girls, Hull

• Headlands School, Bridlington

• Withernsea High School

Viki Foster, Careers Leader at Withernsea High School, said: “Being able to deliver high quality information to parents, while working with partners from within specific industries, is vital in helping us to support our students.

“We can help them and their families navigate the enormous amount of information available and are very much looking forward to seeing the outcomes of this project.”

The pilot, a collaboration between Leicester and Leicestershire and Hull and East Yorkshire careers hubs, is designed to better inform parents and carers who want to talk to children about careers opportunities, but who do not have easy access to local labour market information.

A total of eight schools in Hull and East Yorkshire, Leicester and Leicestershire have been selected to take part in the innovative project.

Parents and carers have significant influence over the career decisions of young people.

However, research has shown that some families lack awareness about when they need to make decisions and start exploring careers options with children and young people.

The project addresses that by preparing parents of Year 9 students with manageable chunks of information that they can use at home – comfortably before the young people get to the point of gaining meaningful Year 10 work experience and then qualifications needed in regional labour markets.

Fiona Headridge, HEYLEP Careers Hub Lead, said: “Parents and carers will be engaged through informal messages, as well as off-site employer events that have travel provided.”

If successful, the pilot has the potential to be extended to other regions nationwide. The project runs until December 2023.