The Ladder

Supporting students towards successful futures and confident career choices

By: Andrew Bernard


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Products specifications
Attribute nameAttribute value
Size234mm x 156mm
PublishedFebruary 2021

Written by Andrew ‘Bernie’ Bernard, The Ladder: Supporting students towards successful futures and confident career choices contains everything educators need to know in order to be effective advocates for young people and their future aspirations, pathways and career aims.

Foreword by Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes.

Regardless of one’s plans for the future, many people’s careers are founded on a series of chance encounters, experiences and serendipity. School, college, university, jobs, family, sports, hobbies, friends, relationships – these are all fertile grounds for career-related conversations and explorations.

What if teachers, guides, mentors, parents and peers started to notice these seemingly unconnected happenings and, indeed, started to engineer and encourage them to happen?

Using the mantra ‘every adult is a careers teacher’, The Ladder will inspire teachers to explicitly link their subject area to students’ futures, both in school and outside its walls, and support them in doing so. Bernie draws upon his 30-year career in education and business development to bring clarity, focus and ideas to educators as to how they can best start students on their own ladders to success.

In doing so, Bernie provides a range of user-friendly, engaging and downloadable materials for teachers to use with the young people they work with to help uncover their talents and link those talents to opportunities for growth. He also shares invaluable advice on how best to reach out to local businesses and external organisations to support your students’ careers education.

Ultimately, in writing this book Bernie’s aim is to bring young people’s futures to life with some personal skills reflection and forward planning designed to help them as they embark on their fulfilling futures – regardless of their upbringing, academic achievements or ethnic background.

Suitable for all teachers and educators, particularly those with responsibility for career guidance, wanting to help their students on the path to a successful future.

The CASK poster – a framework for self-reflection and recording of skills and knowledge on students’ career journeys, is available to download here.

Picture for author Andrew Bernard

Andrew Bernard

Andrew `Bernie` Bernard is an entrepreneur, a TEDx Speaker, a director of both Innovative Enterprise and National Careers Week, and a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association. Bernie – as he prefers to be known – has, since 2006, worked with schools, businesses, charities, universities and colleges to help over 150,000 young people bring their future to life through enterprise and careers workshops.


  1. “Every adult is a careers teacher”. This is one of the key themes of this book in which Andrew Bernard argues that careers education is the collective responsibility of guidance professionals, teachers, parents, and employers. Written in an engaging style, it is a practical guide as to how students should be supported to identify their ‘purpose’, build self-belief, and recognise and articulate their skills. Predominantly aimed at careers leaders and teachers, it provides a wealth of tips and activities to support this aim.

    The CASK (Continuum for the Acquisition of Skills and Knowledge) is presented as a set of tools to increase students’ self-awareness. All the resources are free to download and include some suitable for primary-age children and for those with SEND. Chapter 5 is a treasure trove of games, exercises and ideas that can be used in the classroom to broaden awareness of different jobs, challenge stereotypes and link careers to curriculum subjects.

    The value of involving external organisations in a careers programme and the wider curriculum is adeptly argued, emphasising its value in raising aspirations and tackling inequalities. Examples of organisations, projects, and resources to support educational institutions in delivering enriching careers programmes are included, all helpfully linked to the relevant Gatsby Benchmarks. There’s a step-by-step guide to engaging with employers; invaluable to any career’s leader setting out to establish stronger employer links.

    Powerful and thought-provoking case studies form the basis of a chapter focussed on careers education and support for students with SEND, prompting the reader to consider the need for a fresh approach. All in all, if you’re in any way involved in supporting young people with their career planning, you’ll find The Ladder a valuable and constructive resource.

  2. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, The Ladder contains everything classroom educators and school counselors need to know in order to be effective advocates for young people and their future aspirations, pathways and career aims. It is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to school district, college and university libraries, jobs and careers education collections, and supplemental studies curriculum reading lists.

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