As a parent, I have always wanted the best for my daughter, which includes having a job that gives her the fulfilment and security that she deserves. I'm therefore the same as any other parent, but with cuts to student grants and stiff competition for jobs many parents are worried that their children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, will not have the same opportunities as some of their peers.
Action for Children surveyed over 2,000 parents and found that one in four don't think that their kids will progress into the job that they want due to a lack of skills and qualifications. With young people having more opportunities than ever to gain skills and qualifications to fulfil their goals, I was shocked to hear this.
We also found that one in three (37%) parents want their children to have professional careers, with almost half (48%) of affluent parents wanting this compared to only 25% of less affluent parents. Six out of 10 parents also cited competition as a main concern for their children not getting the job that they wanted them to.
At Action for Children, we want all young people to fulfil their potential so we provide opportunities for them to develop - from employment and training services, offering young people work tasters, placements, and skills to job seeking workshops and internship opportunities.
Christina Peters is an 18-year-old college student and a young carer from London. She told us that she wanted to get a job that would help her build her skills to become a flight attendant, so she attended several of our employment workshops in 2014. Our workshops are designed to provide young people with the basic skills and knowledge to help them into employment or training. From attending, she secured part-time employment working at football stadiums in the capital and is now working as a chef's assistant.
She said: "My mum gave me a great work ethic and has given me the confidence to aim high. But I really needed the practical skills to help me on the way to getting my first job and start my journey in achieving my dream of becoming a flight attendant and travelling the world.
"The workshops I went to taught me CV writing and interview skills, and gave me the confidence to believe that I could get a job. Since leaving the workshops I've worked at football stadiums which meant I dealt with a lot of customers, improving my customer service experience and, now, as a chef's assistant I'm improving my organisational skills every day."
Christina is also doing an aviation course at college, which is giving her an insight of what happens at airports and what to expect from a cabin crew interview. All of this should help her achieve the career that she wants.
Christina is just one example of how having the right support can empower young people to achieve their goals. Talented young people from all backgrounds must and should be encouraged to explore different opportunities to reach their full potential.
You can find out more about your nearest Action for Children education, employment and training programme at www.actionforchildren.org.uk.
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