The New Zealand government are rolling out Inspiring the Future and its primary version, Primary Futures, to all schools under the name Inspiring the Future Aotearoa.
On 27 May 2021, the programme launched to primary and intermediate schools in the country, enabling children to learn about exciting opportunities for their futures, be motivated and see their learning brought to life, challenge stereotypes and be inspired by people in their communities visiting and talking to them.
It was launched by the New Zealand Education Minister Chris Hipkins MP at a lively event at Avalon Intermediate School in Lower Hutt, Wellington. The event started with a Primary Futures ‘What’s My Line?’, with children asking four volunteers questions about their jobs and trying to guess their roles. The people then revealed their professions: a builder, a cyber security consultant, a marine geologist and an occupational therapist, and talked to the children about what their jobs involve.
Video of the launch with the song ‘Future Jobs’ written and performed by the students of Avalon Intermediate School
Chris Hipkins had seen a presentation about Primary Futures at an international ministerial event in Lisbon and was keen to see it replicated in New Zealand. We are delighted to be working with his government on the rollout of the programme. Primary Futures is also gaining interest in other countries who are recognising the importance of early intervention, as detailed in our Starting Early report.
In launching the national programme, Chris said, “From a really early age, kids form stereotypes about what types of jobs are good for boys and what types of jobs are good for girls. We want to help broaden their aspirations… You can’t be what you can’t see and we need to stop children from ruling out career possibilities because they believe, implicitly or explicitly, that their future career choices are limited by their gender, ethnicity or socio-economic background.”
Tim Fowler, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission/ Te Amorangi Mātauranga Matua, which is responsible for all careers provision in the country, had visited England in 2019. He made the special trip to see how the programme was running here and took part in a Primary Futures event at Parkwood Primary School in London. Speaking at the launch in Wellington, he told 1 News, “We want every school, every primary school and intermediate to be involved in this over a few years”.
In preparation for the national rollout, the Tertiary Education Commission undertook a study of children’s career aspirations. Their ‘Drawing the Future New Zealand’ survey received responses from 7,700 children aged 7 to 13 from primary, intermediate and composite schools across the country. It found that the career aspirations of young New Zealanders are set from a young age and with a large percentage of children aspiring to the similar types of jobs. The research format and methodology of the report was based on the Drawing the Future report which charity Education and Employers and its partners TES Global, the NAHT, OECD Education and Skills, and UCL Institute of Education published during the World Economic Forum in January 2018.