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Teachers 'want businesses to play a bigger role in careers advice'

16/08/2017 Kelly

British teachers are keen to see businesses take on a bigger role in providing careers advice to school students.

This is according to a new study from Atomik Research conducted on behalf of Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, which also indicated that many teachers are not confident about their own ability to provide educated careers guidance.

The survey of 1,401 secondary teachers and 1,063 pupils aged 14 to 18 revealed that 89 per cent of teachers think businesses should play more of a role in giving pupils information on careers, with half in favour of talks in schools and 26 per cent saying they would welcome open days for teachers hosted by businesses.

Indeed, 69 per cent of teachers say they would like more information, training and guidance from business about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, as 30 per cent of staff do not currently feel adequately informed about all the options available to pupils, while 23 per cent specifically said they are not confident in their understanding of STEM careers.

The report offered evidence of ways in which this lack of knowledge is affecting students, as 29 per cent of male teachers and 16 per cent of female staff harbour a belief that STEM careers are better-suited to boys than girls - potentially contributing to a perception that the STEM fields are not welcoming to women.

Given that 61 per cent of pupils say teachers are influential in helping them decide their next steps after secondary school, it is vital that action be taken to ensure staff are in a better position to offer informed advice.

Catherine O'Kelly, industry development director at British Gas, said: "There's a clear role and need for business to provide more support so that both teachers and students have a better understanding of the exciting options that are available through STEM careers."

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