Jobs in a boxEmployment/Training | Young People
What is the project?
Jobs in a Box is a box full of resources that help teach primary school aged children across the South West about the diverse range of job available in the housing sector.
The box includes costumes and props for ten job roles. These include housing officer, customer service advisor, employment support advisor, development officer, and gas engineer. All are all informed by conversations Hampton has had with Radian and other Housing Associations. Online estate agent Purple Bricks has also been assisting Hampton with a plan to include an estate agent role and developing workshops around this, and Royal Bank of Scotland has been working with her on the role of mortgage advisor.
Who is the project targeted at?
The box is targeted at year’s 2 to 6. However, it's not just targeted at children. A key aim of ‘Jobs in a Box’ is to involve the parents of children that have little or no job aspirations. While their children will be given new roles to aspire to, Radian’s EST team will work with and help their parents change their perceptions and support them into training or work.
Why did the project come about?
The project is the brainchild of Lea Hampton, an ambassador for National Careers Week (NCW) who has a background in education. Big shifts happening in education system mean that schools must now evidence what they are doing to prepare children for the world of work. Hampton saw an opportunity to introduce a project that educates primary school aged children about different job roles.
Having previously worked for Sovereign Housing Association, Hampton decided to make a box full of resources to teach children specifically about roles available in the housing sector. In June 2019 she approached Radian’s Employment Support & Training Team (EST) with the idea and they gave her their full backing.
How was this project implemented?
The box stays in each school for at least four weeks. It includes costumes and props for ten job roles. These include housing officer, customer service advisor, employment support advisor, development officer, and gas engineer. All are all informed by conversations Hampton has had with Radian and other Housing Associations.
Online estate agent Purple Bricks also assisted with a plan to include an estate agent role and developing workshops around this, and Royal Bank of Scotland helped work on the role of mortgage advisor.
How was this project funded?
Radian Housing Association have partly funded the project, particularly funding for costumes and props.
Outcomes so far
By providing such a wide variety of jobs, the box has challenged children's stereotypes and fixed mindsets about what they are capable of and who can do what roles. The box has, for example, been able to demonstrate that women as well as men can do jobs such as being an electrician.
The box has been really successful at teaching children other skills, such as literacy and numeracy. Most of all it has demonstrate to them the value of their education in order to have a fulfilling career later in life. Even for younger children in year 2, the box has challenged them to think on the spot and consider their futures and ambitions in a way that they had not done before. Teachers, too, have noticed that since the box, career and job roles have become more important to the children they teach.
Alyson Noble, who works for Radian and has assisted on the project, said: “Most people that don’t work in the housing sector have little or no knowledge of what services and career opportunities there are within a Housing Association. Investing in projects like this raises awareness and showcases all of the varied positions that exist within our organisation.”
“Introducing these ideas into schools in a fun and interactive way can demonstrate how much is involved in providing the services that housing associations do and will encourage future talent into the sector, whether through apprenticeships, work placements or direct employment.”
SAMEE, a charity which supports disabled and disadvantaged people into employment, will now take over the administration of the box. It will be booked in with primary schools across Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and from next January it will go out to those in the wider Dorset area. This will sit within their WISE programme.
Hampton's job over the coming months will be to bring in funding to enable 4 to 6 housing themed boxes to rotate across the region. Over the summer Hampton will start creating the next themed box which, following talks with the NHS, is likely to be around health and care.
If other housing associations would like the "Jobs in a Box" project in their area to use as a tool to talk with primary pupils about the variety of job role in the sector, they can contact SAMEE on email@example.com.