How can a Skills Cymru event help your teen choose a future career?

Choosing a future career is not that straightforward and parents are not always equipped to offer the best advice. Last year I attended a Skills Cymru Cardiff event with my 16 year old daughter who had very little idea about what she wanted to do when she left school. This is how we got on.

Choosing a career

How did you choose your career? Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to do from a young age or, like me, have you reached mid-life and are still not entirely sure what you want to be when you grow up? Have you moved from job to job or have you relentlessly pursued a clear career path? Does it matter?

Skills Cymru Cardiff crossroads sign

Over the last six or seven years I have been struck by how organised teens are expected to be when it comes to career choices. Yet, it is not always that easy. If I could offer one piece of advice it would be – calm down. The days of a career for life seem to be in the past. As a parent we can try to lift the pressure and encourage our teens to enjoy the journey rather than focusing on the destination. My second piece of advice would be – get some help.

Why attend an event

There are Skills Scotland, Skills England and Skills London events throughout 2018 and you can find the details here. We found the Skills Cymru Cardiff event useful and came away with arms full of information. If you get the chance to attend a similar event with your teens, here are a few reasons why you should take it.


  1. It helps to have it all under one roof. SkillsCymru are Wales’ largest careers, jobs, skills and apprenticeship events. Having it all in one place can be a little overwhelming at first but it certainly focuses the mind and drives it home to your teen that there is a huge selection of paths to choose from. It is especially useful for making key decisions at the end of Years 11 and Years 13.
  2. The process of elimination is useful. If nothing else it is useful as a way of working out what they definitely DON’T want to do. When we got there, my daughter thought that she liked the idea of an apprenticeship. Having found out a bit more about them on the night and talking to the experts she had made the decision that university was the path for her. This was an important step and enabled her to move on with the next decision.
  3. It’s useful for parents. The SkillsCymru event is aimed at pupils and students in Years 10,11,12 and 13 and, importantly, their parents. We all operate in fairly limited fields (often related to our own profession) and something like this is an eye opener for us as well. I think the event is especially useful for helping them decide if post-16 full time study is for them or if they’d rather enter the world of work.
  4. It focuses the mind and triggers conversations. Make the most of having somewhere to talk about their future. It’s just you and them and a lot of experts – no excuses. The hands on nature is attractive and ensures that boredom is never an issue.
  5. It costs nothing. These events are free for the young people and their parents/guardians to attend. This makes them open to all. If’s just the cost of travelling that will need to be covered.


The Skills Cymru Cardiff Event

We found it hugely useful and all the exhibitors were both friendly and very enthusiastic about their sector. I liked the combination of academic options alongside the world of work.

This video gives you a glimpse of what goes on at the event. This is from the Welsh event and so it is bilingual with subtitles.


I’d love to know how you and your young people chose your career. Please do leave me a comment.



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  10 comments for “How can a Skills Cymru event help your teen choose a future career?

  1. January 30, 2018 at 11:11 am

    we attended these with our eldest two boys, but didn’t have access to this in South Africa and missed out with the teen in the UK. When i was in school all we had were local companies who came in to talk to us, the world changes so fast #tweenteensbeyond
    chickenruby recently posted…Getting out of a rut and blowing my own trumpet.My Profile

  2. January 30, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    That sounds really interesting. Not sure if we have something like that here. Sounds fab for teens x #tweenteensbeyond

  3. January 30, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Sounds really useful. Hopefully there will be something similar available when the Tubblet reaches that age.
    We’ve got a similar evening coming up to help the Tubblet choose her exam options in the next few weeks.

  4. January 30, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    This sounds just what my two need! I will look into this, thank you Sharon. X #tweenteensbeyond
    Sophie recently posted…Is Modern Living Creating a Crisis for our Children?My Profile

  5. January 31, 2018 at 7:03 am

    This is so helpful! I didn’t know about these events and my daughter, (Yr 10) doesn’t know what she wants to do. Will have a look to see if there are any events near us. #TTB

  6. February 1, 2018 at 12:07 am

    I don’t remember anything like this being offered when my youngest was thinking about careers, 4 or 5 years ago. She changed her mind several times before settling on a journalism course at uni, then taking a year out which got extended, and she now works in social media marketing (or something) that wasn’t even a job 4 years ago!
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  7. February 5, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    This sounds like our equivalent of the Career’s Office! Very useful information here and yes – calm – is good to hear. I think you make a very good point here and I wonder if we all just need to take a moment here. The two generations probably need to realign in terms of the whole job for life thing. It’s different now. I shall be expecting something like this in a few years!

  8. Midlife Dramas in Pyjamas
    February 5, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Anything like this is a great idea for teens. We’ve been to one with both of ours. Our eldest has decided not to go to university, and events like this are even more important for kids like him. How many 16 – 18 year olds truly know what they want to do with their future at this age? I wanted to be a singer/dancer/actor and look how that turned out! Lol! #TweensTeensBeyond

  9. February 5, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    They don’t really have events like this over here in the States. I guess the equivalent would be college tours and job fairs but they don’t really give the kids what they are looking for. I wish we had events like this over here to help our teens develop a better understanding of their future. #TweensTeensBeyond
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