Vocational - Building onwards and upwards

Introducing teenagers gently to the world of work is crucial. Gary Forrest explains how you can introduce some support into the curriculum

Gary Forrest

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The jump between school or college and work can be a big leap. To help make it less daunting, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority's (QCA) new framework - Economic Wellbeing 11-19: career, work-related learning and enterprise - aims to support schools and colleges planning to teach this area to pre-teens and teenagers.

It takes account of the new secondary curriculum, the 14-19 reform programme and the Government's strategy for enterprise and careers education. Schools have a legal responsibility to provide careers education at key stage 3 and for careers and work-related learning at KS4.

The programme has nine elements. These include developing awareness of the extent and diversity of education and work opportunities, learning from working people, and how and why businesses operate.

The aim is to help young people become employable by developing their skills, and making them more familiar with the world of work.

Schools and colleges should consider including a minimum of two relevant activities in the curriculum at each key stage. The aim is to help learners understand and demonstrate the main qualities, attitudes and skills needed to thrive in the working world.

This complements guidance on work-related learning, careers and enterprise. There are three key strands:

- Providing opportunities for young people to have work experience.

- Developing knowledge and understanding of work and enterprise.

- Developing enterprise and employability skills.

When planning lessons, make sure that the activities and outcomes are appropriate, and they build on the learners' previous experiences.

Be aware that additional projects might need to be developed. Think about the ways you can add an extra dimension. For example, business and community partners could be involved in planning and delivering activities. You need to think about how the provision will be monitored and evaluated.

Full details of the framework, plus guidance on career, work-related learning and enterprise, are available at: www.qca.org.ukqca_17872.aspx

Gary Forrest is strategic manager for work-related learning and enterprise, in the QCA curriculum division.

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