Jobs advice careering into 21st century with board game aimed at primaries

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SCHOOLS across Yorkshire are providing a new style of careers education by teaching children as young as nine to think about what future job they might want through a new board game.

The Career Detectives game is the brainchild of two Yorkshiremen who hope to boost social mobility and tackle youth unemployment by starting to teach children about careers when they are still in primary school.

It was launched last month and has already been sold to almost 50 schools across the region and beyond.

Joseph Leech and Jon Maiden, from Sheffield, aim to stop careers only being taught in a separate lesson where pupils are encouraged to work on a computer to find their ideal job.

Instead the pair have developed a game which will “bring pupils back around the table” and get young people working in teams and can be used throughout the school curriculum.

Mr Leech said: “I was a careers adviser working with a lot of schools directly and I could see that a lot of pupils were just not getting education and careers.

“If you only start in year nine when pupils are 14 it is far too late. I realised there was a real gap in the market.

“Increasingly careers sessions just involved kids working on their own on a bank of computers. What we wanted to do was take careers education and make it more funky and cool.”

They hope their game will show young people why what they learn in the classroom is important and introduce them to the world of work in a fun way.

The board game involves a series of challenges for pupils to take ranging from routine education questions covering maths and English to skills tests, where pupils might have to perform a mime or tell a story and also career challenges which allow young people to learn about different types of jobs and the skills needed to do them.

Career Detectives also has 14 jobs cards each containing 12 different occupations in similar areas such as business and finance, engineering, computing and information technology or retail and customer service which teachers can use to help deliver careers lessons.

Mr Maiden, who has worked with deprived schools in South Yorkshire as a director of a theatre company, said: “Teachers don’t have the resources to deliver careers education – particularly in primary school.

“There is a lot of teachers who are just winging it. We are hoping to give structure to it. Our game raises aspiration which raises attainment, broadens horizons and will increase social mobility which is something which we are both really passionate about.”