Opinion: Careers Guidance for Young People
Chris Jones responds to the Education Select Committee's report on the provision of careers guidance for young people.
21 January 2013
“The report by Parliament’s Education Select Committee on the provision of careers guidance for young people in schools provides a shameful picture of how the system is failing young people. Receiving ill-informed, inappropriate career guidance can have an extensive impact on young peoples’ lives, and in turn hinder business and the wider economy. City & Guilds therefore welcomed the opportunity to give evidence to the Committee’s inquiry and we are pleased to see that the report provides some sensible recommendations to ensure our young people get the right advice about their chosen career path. In particular, vocational options are often neglected – even though this is where many of the skills shortages lie.
“Our own report, ‘Ways into Work: views of children and young people on education and employment’ revealed that one third of the 3000 17-18 year olds surveyed had not received any careers guidance. Meanwhile, although 64% of 14-18 year olds had received careers advice from their teachers, just 14% rated this as ‘very useful’. Add to this that too few teachers understand the full spectrum of vocational education options and it’s no wonder that all too often we hear about young people being directed down a route that isn’t necessarily right for them, or indeed not receiving guidance at all.
“What we now need are careers counsellors that are given appropriate training to a recognised standard. Not only does professional training maintain confidence in the service but it achieves coherent and high quality guidance on a national basis. In addition, colleges and training providers must be better linked with local employers and Local Enterprise Partnerships, to ensure young people have access to the kind of high quality work experience employers are looking for.
“Young people want and deserve to have access to balanced, impartial advice to help them make the right decisions about their training and career path. We warmly welcome the Report’s constructive recommendations and urge the government to accept and implement them in full.”