I have always been interested in businesses that benefit today’s teenagers and children, providing opportunities for experience in real world situations. Education is important but it does not prepare today’s youth for real life situations. I like to believe that I achieved the best I could in GCSE and A-Levels but I do not believe that a grade certificate has contributed to have the work experience I have today. The business I will be discussing with you today is +KidZania , a Mexican business that creates a role-play work experience for 4-12 year old’s.
The concept comes from Xaiver Lopez Anconca who wanted to educate and entertain children. KidZania is a controlled and safe environment that allows children to mimic jobs to receive ‘KidZos’ a currency to spend on entertainment and shops in KidZania. To explain in ‘Kid’ terms a little working town for little working people! So the Children come in like a merry band of oompa loompa’s to gain experience by role-playing real adult jobs. They can be an astronaut, a fireman, a mailman, a dentist, a banker, a pilot, a driver, a chef, a builder and much more; even a McDonald’s worker, for those with big aspirations!
The reason I think this is such a brilliant idea is because it is difficult to figure out what you want to do in life until you actually do it! From my experience education centres only begin to talk about careers at the end of secondary school! What would I like to do for the rest of my life? This is a big question to answer, and cannot be decided in a couple of weeks work experience. This question puts a lot of pressure on teenagers, leading to students dropping out like flies.
There needs to be more practical involvement between schools and work places. A student could take a university degree in cooking to then realise that they don’t like working under pressure in a kitchen. Three years and £27,000 wasted because picking up a pen and food prep in the classroom isn’t the same as working in a busy kitchen. I wanted to be a chef at a young age, until I realised I couldn’t cook.
My only concern about KidZania is whether children will see it for purely entertainment value rather than educational, however with over 25 million visitors to date in 14 different countries , it must be doing something right! When I have children I would certainly go explore the world of little people!