PAULA LECA is the STEM Futures coordinator at Glasgow Science Centre, which will be hosting Scotland’s Biggest Parents’ Evening next week. Paula explains how parents and guardians can put their youngsters in the best position for a job in 10 years time..

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question that children young people are asked a lot.

Twenty years ago, if you asked a child in Glasgow about this and they answered “I want to make satellites”, you might have been impressed by their interest in science and their imagination. But you might also have secretly thought there was no chance of that job being available.

Yet here we are in 2020 and Glasgow is a world capital of satellite manufacturing.

The point is that, for children and young people across Greater Glasgow, a lot of the jobs they’ll be doing in 10 years time don’t exist yet.

Research shows that parents have the greatest influence on a child’s career decisions, but getting to grips with the range of opportunities that exist can be tricky.

That’s why we are hosting Scotland’s Biggest Parents’ Evening at the Glasgow Science Centre next week, in partnership with Developing Young Workforce.

At this free event, parents will have the chance to meet major employers face-to-face to find out what the jobs of the future will be in Glasgow, and the different pathways towards amazing careers in growth industries.

Over 30 businesses will be attending, including JP Morgan, Barclays, Virgin Money, Marriott, the Royal Navy, Rolls Royce, Scottish Water and Morrison Construction.

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A concern that many parents have is that high-flying careers start with a university degree. That’s true for some jobs, but not all, and university isn’t the right choice for everyone.

At Scotland’s Biggest Parents’ Evening, employers will talk parents and guardians through the different routes into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. There are a number of exciting apprenticeship pathways for young people, from foundation apprenticeships undertaken by pupils in S5 and S6, when they study and gain an industry-recognised qualification and work experience with an employer.

Young people can also choose a modern apprenticeship, which means they can work for an employer and earn while they learn. Modern apprenticeships are available in over 80 subjects, from civil engineering and digital marketing to dental nursing and cadetships with the Royal Navy.

Glasgow and the surrounding areas have changed over the past few years, decades and centuries. Our industries and employers develop and respond to the market.

Banks need computing whizzes who can develop apps and code that will increase cyber security. Laser manufacturers need skilled assistants as well as physics experts. Manufacturers need people who can think out of the box and transform how we create things in Scotland, from automotive parts to shower panels.

In fact, this is the theme of our upcoming new exhibition, Idea No 59, which will open in March. The exhibition celebrates the innovative spirit in all of us and how it can change the world.

Visitors will explore the new technologies shaping the future of our society and understand their possibilities. The exhibition will also showcase the jobs of the future and the skills and attributes they require.

Scotland’s Biggest Parents’ Evening is a chance for parents, guardians and young people from across Glasgow and the west to get a head start on the pathway to a STEM career, with expert employers from construction, banking, the armed forces, mari-time, engineering, hospitality and many more industries on hand to answer questions and give advice.

For more info and to book a slot, check out Event Brite and search for Glasgow – Scotland’s biggest parents evening 2020.