INSPIRED primary school pupils learned all about an array of different career paths they could try and what they could do after leaving school.

Year 5s from a number of Swindon schools enjoyed an Aspirations Day event at Dorcan Academy and met archaeologists, lawyers and cyber-security engineers amongst others to find out more about their fascinating jobs.

A Cambridge University liaison officer talked to about the university experience and other options for higher education.

Colebrook Junior School pupils Summer Hunt and Oliver Porter had a great time.

Summer said: “It was really fun because I liked all the activities and learning about the different jobs, it inspired me. I liked the archaeologist but I also liked the theatre director because I enjoy drama.”

Oliver said: “It was a great day. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up and now I have so many different ideas, some of the jobs really made me think.

“One person worked in the army and it reminded me of what my dad did. I liked finding out about university, I didn’t really know much about it before and it’s so different to what I thought, there’s a lot more freedom.”

Mekela Lee co-ordinated the event with the help of the Swindon branch of the National Literacy Hub, Primary Futures and Cambridge University.

She said: “It challenged their perceptions about what jobs people could have and broke down gender stereotypes. The goal was to raise their aspirations and increase their awareness of what opportunities are available.

“They said they really liked it and they didn’t realise how many careers there were, so I’d like to do this again.

The day formed part of Swindon Borough Council’s drive to help youngsters develop what it called “an appetite for success”.

With motivational speakers attending school assemblies and greater emphasis placed on revision skills sessions and one-to-one mentoring, the Council’s Routes to Employment team is using a range of initiatives to help inspire young people to go into higher education.

The Swindon Challenge Board brings together all key stakeholders in education to improve educational outcomes for pupils and wants to increase the proportion of young people in Swindon accessing higher education by 25 per cent.

Cabinet member for commercialisation, education and skills Russell Holland said: “I am extremely pleased to be able to bring this programme to Dorcan Academy’s Year 5 pupils and I am sure they will find it invaluable as they progress to higher education.

“Raising aspirations among young people is one of this council’s key priorities and with the work we are doing with our partners we are confident of achieving real successes in the near future.”

Using the Study Higher programme, more than 3,000 students in schools and colleges in Swindon have been inspired by motivational speakers.