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I want children to be ambitious about their futures as well as about their present. I want them to have the support they need to become successful adults, including helping them to get good jobs and careers that fulfil their goals.

I want to adopt a cradle to career approach to education with a stronger focus on vocational routes, such as apprenticeships and better careers education. By bringing schools and workplaces closer together, we can help children achieve that ambition of a good job or career when they grow up.

If people actually had more opportunity and more choice, maybe they would be choosing the right path and actually find fulfilment within life.

Girl, 17,
The Big Ask

My work so far…

Dame Rachel de Souza pointing at something on a page standing next to a young boy

Maths skills

I’ve developed ‘Where can I go with maths?’, an interactive quiz for children featuring over 50 career profiles of role models using maths or maths skills in their work. It has been developed to show connections and transferable skills between the KS3 maths curriculum, careers, and everyday life.

My office is running a data challenge for children using real data from The Big Ask that was launched in Maths Week in November 2022. It is an opportunity for young people to hear what other young people told me about their wellbeing and future priorities. Submissions are open!

Dame Rachel de Souza sitting on chair holding coffee cup


I laid out some of my ambitions for the future of jobs and skills at a Conservative Party Conference event, sponsored by Onward and the Centre for Social Justice.  

I have talked to care experienced apprentices from Warwickshire Council, to primary children getting their first careers conversations through Primary Futures, and visited young people at Open Road, an FE college in Norfolk, specialising in helping young people at risk of exclusion learn practical, vocational skills. My team continue to engage stakeholders working in youth employment and careers. 

In the Children’s Advisory Board and Care Experienced Advisory Board we will be running training and skills sessions and offering mentoring and career opportunities to participants to help equip them for their futures.

Our priority areas