New report looks at the career aspirations of primary-aged children in Suffolk

A report published today by the charity Education and Employers, highlights the importance of exposing children to a breadth of different jobs and learning more about the world of work whilst at school. 

Commissioned by the Ipswich Opportunity Area (IOA) Partnership Board, the report investigates the career aspirations of primary-aged children in Ipswich and Felixstowe. The research, based on the Drawing the Future methodology, was carried out on behalf of the charity between February and May 2022 by Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, dmh associates. 

Children were asked to draw pictures of the jobs they would like to do when they grow up. They were then asked how they had heard about these jobs, why they wanted to do them and other questions related to their future aspirations, for example going to university or doing an apprenticeship. 

Key findings from the research included: 

  • 80% of children identified with only 32 jobs in only 3 Standard Occupational Code (SOC) sectors and 36% of children knew about these jobs because someone they knew, mainly family members, did the job. 
  • 93% of the children agree that boys and girls can do the same job. However, the job selections made by the children, particularly the boys, reflected an unconscious bias despite their responses to the question. 
  • Those who identified with jobs in Sports or as a Youtuber or Gamer/Streamer appear to believe that the job role they want to do is not linked to learning at school and fewer of these children thought they would go to university compared to their peers. 

Read the full report.