What do you want to be when you grow up? We’ve all been asked this question at some point in our childhood. To the amusement of many adults some children will chime in with fantastical ideas of who they want to be, from a Disney princess to a well known superhero. As if on some level they understand the possibilities are endless.
The possibilities are endless. So maybe they can’t be the next Superman, but they could be the next Elon Musk or Steve Jobs. How do we broaden their horizons and raise their aspirations? How do we help them make connections between what they are learning in school and how it relates to real world careers?
Why Explore Skilled Trades Careers at an Early Age
Before we move on to how, we need to know why. It comes back to the question we have been asking industry leaders to talk about in the “Why Care” series. If we understand why we should care about skilled trades, then it becomes clear, the earlier children are exposed to skilled trades careers the better.
Here are some ways children benefit from exploring skilled trades careers:
- Children will gain a wide range of experiences which will excite and motivate them to learn.
- Showing them the range of possibilities open to them will broaden their horizons and raise their aspirations.
- Help children learn more about their own talents and abilities and so they will gain the confidence to push back the edge of what’s possible.
- STEM feels more legit. Where in real life do I use Math or Science? In the trades is often the real answer...and it can be enjoyable.
So how do we do this? Parents have already been doing it by example and by the toys they buy for their children. The very first career children are usually exposed to is the work their parents do and for some it is naturally the career they will aspire to themselves. Some parents also make a concerted effort to expose their children to STEAM-based toys.
With STEAM-based toys, like building blocks, and science kits, children discover new ways to solve problems, learn how things work, and develop lifelong skills that might actually lead them to their dream careers. It’s one of the reasons Edge Factor has aligned some of our career exploration media with Kidder.
How can Children Explore Skilled Trades Careers
It all begins with a great story! At Edge Factor we love to tell stories about people who are changing the world with their hands and their minds. We are excited to have created a video to help share the amazing work being done by KickAss Careers, Jamie McMillan. Jamie has been working in the trades since 2002. In 2006, she began to mentor young women to consider careers in skilled trades and in 2015, KickAss Careers was born.
“Teach the young hands of today to build the world of tomorrow.” - Jamie McMillan
KickAss careers recently launched a new initiative! “All the Kids on Builder Street” is a series of coloring books that promotes the importance of skilled trades to help young children explore real world careers. Jamie said, “We hope this opens up their minds to the possibilities of amazing careers that they can have so they find a career pathway they will love.”
The co-authors of the book are Pat Williams, Finn Joseph Pette and Jamie McMillan The artist is: Finn Joseph Pette. Visit KickAss Careers site to order your copy today!
The mission at KickAss Careers is to engage, educate and encourage youth to consider pathways in skilled trades and technology. To learn more about Jamie and her team visit their site or contact them at email@example.com.
Edge Factor’s mission is to guide students and job-seekers through a career exploration journey from, "I have no idea what to do with my life!" all the way to launching a local training and career pathway. We are also providing resources to help educators and parents start this conversation at a young age.
Inspire Career Exploration at an Early age with Edge Factor
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