Primary pupils urged to aim high and follow their career dreams

Children as young as nine were urged to aim high, build their confidence and follow what they love doing at Camden’s fourth Primary Careers Conference.

About 170 pupils from 21 primary schools, including 16 Camden schools, attended the event at The Place dance venue, Euston, last Thursday (26 April). They heard from high-profile speakers working in the tech industry, banking, museums and galleries, arts administration, journalism, film-making and sales.

The Year Five pupils also took part in workshops led by leading organisations such as the Francis Crick Institute, the Royal Veterinary College, the House of Illustration, The Place and the Institute of Materials and Mining.

Software developer Ken Lim, who admitted he was a ‘massive nerd’, told children: “Learn what you love, ‘geek out’ to dig a little deeper and find out more, then build with your new skills.”

Teddy Nygh, a multi award-winning film director, who is also creative director and co-founder of youth led media organisation Fully Focused, as well as YouTube channel MYM (Million Youth Media), said: “Find something you love and focus on it. Anything you believe, you can achieve with hard work.”

Clare Connor, Chief Executive of The Place, told pupils at the event: “Sometimes there is a view that academic learning is more important than physical and creative learning, through sport, dance and the arts. But they are all important and they are all about learning. Being happy and enjoying what you do is for me the most important thing. When we connect to what interests us, we are more likely to be happy and do well.”

Bavaani Nanthabalan, Executive Headteacher of Netley Primary School, whose vision for primary careers education led to the event being established four years ago, said: “Once again, the Primary Careers Conference has inspired and excited children in Camden and from other London boroughs to think about their future. The venue was special and the contributions too. Building children’s confidence and interests in a career starts in the primary sector. I am really proud to have been able to give the children this opportunity to listen to speakers who have built robots, documented life stories, designed games and, more importantly, learnt to believe in themselves. The message was clear to our Careers Champions - dream big, learn from your failures and build your confidence. Careers Champions now have the task of planning a careers event in their schools. I look forward to hearing how they get on with this task.”

One of the themes was career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM), which Camden Council and local partners are promoting in schools and businesses as part of the Camden STEAM Commission.

The Primary Careers Conference was funded by Camden Council’s Connexions careers advice service, with support from our economic development team and other sponsors including The Place and the Knowledge Quarter.

Other local organisations and businesses sent volunteers to help on the day.

The main aims of the conference are to:

  • Inspire primary school children to think about their future careers.
  • Raise young people’s aspirations and help them to learn about job skills.
  • Strengthen links between schools and business to maximise opportunities for future collaboration.
  • Develop pupils’ knowledge and skills around particular careers.

As well as Camden schools, primary schools from Islington, Haringey and Greenwich attended the event.

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