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Careers advisor

Each issue, we ask a different professional to share their expertise around issues that may affect your child. This month, Kate, a careers advisor, answers your questions.

Summer 2023 Families magazine

What does your job involve?

I’m an independent careers advisor, working at a school for deaf learners, as well as other schools and colleges in my area. I provide careers information, advice and guidance to young people through one-to-one meetings and group sessions.

I help to raise their awareness of future options and work closely with parents, teachers and other professionals to support young people with their career journey. I also support schools with their careers programmes.

How did you become a careers advisor?

I knew I wanted to work with young people but wasn’t sure in what role. I spoke to a careers advisor who recommended that I get some experience of working with young people in different settings to help me decide.

After a few different roles, I worked towards my Level 6 in Careers Guidance and also completed British Sign Language (BSL) at Level 2, which has been really important for my work with deaf young people.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

One of my favourite things is students getting in touch once they’ve left school to let us know what they’re now doing. I love hearing about their successes in supported internships, apprenticeships, university courses and employment. It’s great inspiration for our current students too.

How can deaf young people prepare for the world of work?

Take any opportunities that are offered to you; try work experience or voluntary work, attend job fairs, and visit employers, colleges, universities and apprenticeship providers to find out what they offer. Make the most of any career activities that are offered through school, college or your local authority. There are so many different options out there and it’s about finding the pathway that’s best for you.

What kind of support can deaf young people get in their job?

Employers have a duty to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ – adaptations to make sure that deaf young people are not at a disadvantage in the workplace. There’s also Access to Work, which is a government scheme to cover additional costs in the workplace, such as technology or support including BSL interpreters, notetakers and deaf awareness training for other staff. It can also be used to cover the cost of communication support for interviews.

What can parents do to support their children with starting work?

Support your child with exploring the options that are available to them. They could go straight into work in the future or choose another option, such as an apprenticeship or supported internship. Find out more about the practical support available to your child by speaking to their careers advisor, teachers or your local authority. They may be able to help with job searching, applications, CVs and interview preparation. They can also offer advice on the support your child may be able to access when they’re in work too.