How to nurture the experts of the future
“What made you want to work in PR?”
“How long do you work for each day?”
“How do you make work fun?”
This “blue” Monday was anything but at Victoria Primary School in Keighley where three separate year groups gathered to listen to me talking about my career.
It made me realise that we should take a leaf out of a child’s excitable book rather than subscribing to someone’s idea of a “blue” day. Because nothing could have felt further from reality as I joined children from five to 11 and talked about the world of PR.
Using giant pictures of Donald Trump, the Queen, pies, manufacturers and even images of my own battle with eczema – I spoke about the power of reputation and of story telling. All delivered with the help of my two-foot, childhood teddy.
It was exhausting and I really worried about speaking in front of school children! But after two hours, I left feeling elated at how engaged, how interested and how inquisitive the children were.
And why shouldn’t they be? The world of work can be really exciting. It should be inspiring. And it should be shared with young minds who are eager to learn.
The emotions of sharing the profession I love with a room full of school children took me by surprise. It was a delight to see their arms trying to touch the ceiling because they had so many questions to ask. And I was left covered in goosebumps at the gasps of surprise when I mentioned meeting William and Kate in Bradford.
Covid took a lot away from today’s primary and secondary pupils. Making it more important than ever to engage with children so that they want to become the experts of the future.
Bradford Manufacturing Weeks and Leeds Manufacturing Festival are just two local initiatives which bring business and commerce into the awareness of children. And the Yorkshire Champions programme encourages adults to tell their story in schools to make business accessible and appealing.
Only then can we expect these wonderful, inquisitive, full-of-potential minds to be interested, to be engaged and to understand more about the work we do.
It starts with us… But the effects have the potential to last a lifetime.
By Suzanne Watson