Alumnus tackles skills gap through children’s books

Last year, Britain’s biggest business lobby group, the CBI employers’ organisation, warned that the UK education system is not preparing young people for the world of work and is a creating a “skills gap” that will make it difficult for businesses to recruit in the future.  

This challenge inspired Aston alumnus, Jason Bryan (Sociology and English Language, 2009) and his sister, Kerrine Bryan, to join forces as Butterfly Books - a company that publishes career-based children’s picture books. Company founder and author, Kerrine, is a chartered electrical engineer and was listed last year as one of the UK’s top 35 women in business under the age of 35. Alumnus Jason (director and author) has a background in finance and is a keen writer. Having a young daughter, he is concerned that children are not exposed to the range of opportunities available to them early enough in life.

As well as opening minds to a variety of careers, Butterfly Books is also hoping to challenge some of the barriers that prevent girls from choosing careers in male-dominated fields. Butterfly Books’ first title (out now) is My Mummy is an Engineer: a colourful picture book will illustrations by Marissa Peguinho that introduces children to the exciting possibilities of solving puzzles, working in teams and building important projects. 

Future publications will include My Mummy is a Plumber and My Mummy is a Scientist (and daddies will not be forgotten either in further titles). All books are aimed at children aged between three and seven years old.

Books are priced at £6.99 each and are available in selected bookshops and online, including Amazon and the Butterfly Books website. For volume discount details (for quantities of ten or more) please email If you have any questions you can get in touch via