Schools must improve careers advice » SMEInsider

Schools must improve careers advice

Schools should be doing more to improve the careers advice  on offer to young people.

That’s the call from a joint taskforce, led by MP Graham Stuart, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group for Careers Information, Advice and Guidance. Stuart has co-ordinated the campaign, which culminated in a letter being sent to Secretary of State Nicky Morgan MP.

In essence the letter called on the Dept of Education to amend the statutory guidance so that all schools are required to work to obtain a quality award for careers education, information, advice and guidance that meets an approved standard (or standards) determined by the D of E.

“Having made it compulsory for schools to meet an agreed quality standard, the appetite for high quality careers provision would leap among school leaders,” the letter says.

Co-signatories to the letter included the Federation of Small Businesses, the Education and Employers Taskforce, the British Chambers of Commerce and the manufacturers’ association the EEF.

Martin McTague, policy director, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Schools are under a lot of pressure to deliver on a wide range of fronts, so it’s not surprising careers advice has slipped down the priority list. But getting good independent advice at the right time can transform a young person’s chances of finding a job they love and fulfilling their potential. We think this change will provide the nudge schools need to up their game – ultimately leading to better long-term outcomes for young people.”

  • Christopher Fry

    I commend this initiative whole heartedly as someone who has a genuine interest in the delivery of careers advice and guidance in both schools and higher education institutions. The current situation is woefully inadequate and certainly not fit for purpose. In some cases educational institutions in certain UK cities have reduced the size of the specialist advisory teams and even deployed highly experienced staff to look after unrelated functions. It was reported on BBC South Today recently that the city of Milton Keynes was a real powerhouse economically, with new businesses arriving daily, but they had to import young talent and professional skills. Milton Keynes is the home to several very large schools and a college engaged with more than 3000 16=18 year olds and 200 students on higher education courses. At present I see little focus on helping today’s students (the talent of the future) navigate their way into the workplace. Business needs to get behind government and these institutions and motivate them to do something meaningful. It would be good to see both our large companies and SME’s visible within the colleges and where appropriate schools to help inspire the student population.
    As a seasoned Recruitment professional I am deeply concerned about the skill shortages that exist across industry and commerce. We had Connexions who the great Vosper Thorneycroft sponsored and supported, that seems to have disappeared following privatisation. I think this initiative is a start but it’s just a catalyst and will need fuel to drive and maintain momentum. Perhaps SME Insider and the FSB can help.