Year 9 and 10 students spent two days last week using a career education resource called “The Real Game”. The game introduces students to the world of work and helps them develop an understanding of the options and opportunities available to them and the implications and importance of their choices. The students worked through a series of modules starting with a ‘dream cloud’ where they could choose different types of housing, travel, transport and leisure activities. Following this activity they picked out of a hat a number which corresponded to a career role. Whilst for some students the role was not one that they would ever imagine doing, they all stayed with their chosen roles and “walked in the shoes” of that role for the remainder of the game.
Opportunity was given for the students to find out about each other’s role profiles, including approx. salary, hours of work, educational requirements etc. Day one ended with the students being given the task of dressing up as their “role” for the following day.
When the students’ arrived at school on Friday, every student had taken time to dress up as their role and find as many props as they could to enhance their profile. The next module was all about income and expenses. Using a spreadsheet, the students entered their income from their role profile and then calculated expenses based on their dream cloud the day before. Some students found out that they could not afford to live in the accommodation they had previously chosen and some also needed to change their transport options. Manipulating of expenses had to take place until there was a nil or credit balance. Following this, the students learned about employment related issues such as gender discrimination, disability and equal opportunity. It was interesting to hear the students’ views and comments. Some comments included “Don’t judge because of the way I look, we are all the same on the inside” and “If you believe in yourself, you can succeed in anything”.
Compassion and the ability to be resilient were needed, as the next module introduced the very real issue of redundancy. One member of each group was handed an envelope giving reasons for their redundancy. The reasons included advancement of technology, mergers, cheap imports and company relocation. Each group had to come up with a solution for their redundant member. Some of the solutions included retraining, setting up business for themselves, relocating and taking on a different role until they could rectify their situation – all real life stuff!
The day ended with the students reviewing what they had learned and looking at how their skills, qualities and education will all enhance their prospects of employment enjoyment. Well done to all the Year 9 and 10 students for being such willing participants and congratulations to Josh and Tina for being the winners of the “dress for your profile” competition.