Good careers guidance doesn’t just happen in school or college – it also needs positive, constructive conversations between parents and young people. Talking Futures is designed to help you support this.

Careers guidance is key to social mobility. It provides young people – whatever their background – with the skills and information they need to make good decisions about their future education and work options.

But it can’t be delivered in isolation. The greatest influence on young people comes from their family and social network. For school and college programmes to succeed, parents need to be engaged and involved.  

However, parents often rely on their own experiences from when they left school or college to inform discussions. This means they may only have a partial understanding of the options available to young people today. Many parents need better information to have informed, constructive conversations.

Talking Futures toolkit

Talking Futures is a suite of resources to help you support parents’ role in careers decision-making and increase their participation in your activities. Designed by the Gatsby Foundation, it is based on research exploring how institutions can best support parents to help young people make informed careers and education decisions.

Resources feature a range of tools and activities including:

  • Parent-facing activities for events such as parents’ evenings and tailored family learning sessions.
  • Student-facing activities to reinforce parents’ role in decision-making.
  • Support for Careers Leaders to identify activities that will complement existing provision.
  • Practical tips and guidance on how to deliver each type of activity.
  • A range of preparation activities to help you and parents get the most out of each session.

The Gatsby Foundation is the philanthropic trust of David Sainsbury (Lord Sainsbury of Turville). Through its work in education, in 2014 the trust developed the eight Gatsby Benchmarks for Good Career Guidance, which have been incorporated into the statutory guidance for secondary schools and colleges in England to follow. The Benchmarks are:

  1. A stable careers programme
  2. Learning from career and labour market information
  3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
  4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
  5. Encounters with employers and employees
  6. Experiences of workplaces
  7. Encounters with further and higher education
  8. Personal guidance

Find out more about the Gatsby Foundation’s work in education and the Gatsby Benchmarks.