Within a changing landscape of education, job options and, more pertinently, an uncertainty over strategies for economic recovery and opportunities for students following COVID-19 and Brexit, The Ladder is an insightful and easy-to-read book that enables professionals and parents to help young adults to climb -˜the ladder' of careers education to achieve their potential. The book is full to the brim with practical tips, support structures and thought-provoking ideas linked to relevant research material.
Bernie communicates throughout that meeting the challenge to guide and encourage young people to take a more direct path to their future success and happiness is both doable and fulfilling. Particular strengths of the book are the range of strategies, tips and tasks for self-reflection, which are augmented by visually effective and supportive diagrams. The author discusses the use of CASK tools, the 7 Skills Assessment Sheet, the GROW model and STAR framework to plot learning, personal skills, -˜informed confidence' and self-worth to promote achievement and potential. He emphasises the need for adults to offer support in order to help young people gain additional skills that will open up -˜windows of opportunity' and create pathways for access. Current evidence shows that too many graduates in areas such as history, sport science, etc. are left in cul-de-sacs after graduating.
Bernie is a positive advocate of breaking down young people's misguided perceptions of barriers to climbing the ladder and sets out how they can start climbing. He emphasises the need to dispel fears and avoidance techniques such as -˜university is not for people like me'. The discussion on work such as the Gatsby benchmarks and push and pull factors in counselling, guidance and parenting are also beneficial. In addition, readers will benefit from Bernie's discussion on the need to offer realistic support to young people with SEND in making career choices.
This book is essential reading for all educators who have key roles in opening up realistic windows of opportunity, raising awareness and inspiring the -˜they did, you can' attitudes of learners in schools, colleges and universities to climb the ladder to happiness and fulfilment.