Press Release – Knowledge Quarter to Host Primary Careers Conference

Children to solve crime, construct buildings and hear from comic book artists and video game musicians at careers event for primary pupils.

Crime solving with the Francis Crick Institute, building construction with Little Architect and inventing new uses for smart materials with the Institute of Materials, Mining and Minerals are only some of the workshops set to inspire pupils at next Monday’s Primary Careers Conference.

Over 200 children aged 9 to 10 are due to attend the ground-breaking event at the British Library on 25 April. The children will be come from 24 schools within the boroughs Camden and Islington. Half will be targeted from vulnerable groups. Pupils who attend will be asked to take the ideas from the conference to organise their own careers day or week in their schools.

The event has been organised by the Knowledge Quarter in partnership with Netley Primary School; The Knowledge Quarter is a partnership of 66 academic, cultural, research, scientific and media organisations located in a one-mile radius around King’s Cross, Euston Road and Bloomsbury.

Children will take place in a variety of workshops and hear from a number of dynamic speakers including Richard Jacques, a composer best-known for designing the scores for hit-games such as Sonic and Mass Effect, and Merlin Evans, renowned freelance illustrator and comic artist from the House of Illustration.

Other high-profile organisations at the event include the British Library, Scriberia, the Royal Veterinary College, The Guardian, Wellcome Trust, Crafts Council, London Metropolitan Archives, and the Institute of Research.

The conference, which will feature talks, interactive workshops and question and answer sessions, was the idea of Bavaani Nanthabalan, Executive Headteacher of Netley primary schools who strongly believes children need to start thinking much earlier about their career aspirations and dreams.

The main aims of the conference are to:

  • Inspire primary school children to think about their future careers.
  • Raise young people’s aspirations and help them to learn about job skills.
  • Strengthen links between schools and business to maximise opportunities for future collaboration.
  • Develop pupils’ knowledge and skills around particular careers.

The conference will be opened by the Roly Keating, Chair of the Knowledge Quarter and Chief Executive of the British Library and Keir Starmer, Member of Parliament for Holborn and St Pancras.

Jodie Eastwood, Project Manager, Knowledge Quarter said:

“The Primary Careers Conference is a great example of how KQ organisations can collaborate to engage with the local community. We hope that young people from today will go away excited and inspired by the incredible range of organisations and opportunities within the Knowledge Quarter.”

Bavaani Nanthabalan, Executive Head Teacher, Netley Primary School said:

“This year’s collaboration with the Knowledge Quarter will give children from two boroughs, Camden and Islington, access to new knowledge about dynamic and exciting careers right on their doorstep. This will be an exciting event and I can’t wait to see the excitement on children’s faces.”

More information: Daniel Stevens, Knowledge Quarter, 07578 677434

Notes to Editors:

  • There are 11,300 children and young people living in poverty in Camden and that the average property price is £855,000. With property prices increasing there is a concern that many of the children and young people growing up in Camden may not be able to live in their borough as adults.
  • Young people from vulnerable groups are at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) between the ages of 16-25.
  • The primary careers conference format has been proven to increase confidence in participants with children responding they felt they had a better understanding of the different jobs available and the skills required for them. (Last year’s conference saw an increase from 29.9% to 54.5% in those saying they “Strongly Agree” that they “I know about different types of jobs that are available to me” and an increase from 38.8% to 57.1% in those saying they “Strongly Agree” that they “know what skills I need to get the job I want.”)

About the Knowledge Quarter

The Knowledge Quarter is a partnership of 66 academic, cultural, research, scientific and media organisations within a one-mile radius comprising of King’s Cross, Bloomsbury and Euston, who all have within their purpose the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Since its launch in December 2014, it has welcome a further 31 organisations as partners including the Alan Turing Institute, the Arts Catalyst and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. The Knowledge Quarter fosters knowledge exchange and collaboration between staff and users of cross-disciplinary communities to exchange ideas, expertise and evidence.