Change of attitude needed on careers advice Last night (Monday 24th June) in the House of Commons I spoke of the need for a change of attitude towards careers advice for 12-16, and that the government needs to do more, not less, to help young people, as I believe that careers advice is on “life support”.
Speaking in response to government cuts to careers advice, I said: “A fundamental change of attitude is needed, so that careers advice is not seen as an afterthought, but is at the heart of a child’s education”
The responsibility for careers advice now falls on the school rather than local authorities due to government cuts, and there has been widespread condemnation of the knock on affect this has had. I highlighted the two areas where I felt careers advice was suffering: the availability of advice, and the quality of advice being given.
More than 8 out of 10 schools now offer less careers advice than before, an issue that was recently highlighted by the Education Select Committee report on Careers guidance for young people: The impact of the new duty on schools which stated that; “The Government’s decision to transfer responsibility for careers guidance to schools is regrettable...this has led, predictably, to a drop in the overall level of provision.”
These concerns have been echoed by the Confederation of British of Industry (CBI) who have also expressed their worry at the negative affect a lack of quality advice is having on the needs of employers.
From my position as Vice-Chair of the Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Group I hear from many manufacturing companies that feel that young people have little or no understanding of their sector or their employability needs.
Concluding, I called on the government to do more, and offered my own suggestions as to what can be done to improve careers advice: “Schools need more help—both financial help and guidance—from the Government, but it does not necessarily have to be at high cost. Crucially, to raise standards and quality across the board, I believe Ofsted should inspect careers advice in schools.”
The government agreed that careers advice must be at the heart of a school education, and accepted that many students are closing the door on potential careers by making the wrong subject choices.
Published 26th June 2013