As a training provider to people of all ages and abilities we see a number of new school leavers who like to explore their options but have little idea what career path would suit them and the best path for them to take. As such it is a concern to find out that the Government have begun to reduce the support for guidance to school leavers which we support the below:
Recent Government cuts to funding for careers guidance in schools could be ‘potentially damaging’, according to experts from the National Careers Service Advisory Group. The Group consists of representatives from a range of related backgrounds including head teachers, education experts, business leaders, careers organisations, and education experts. The statement released by the Group in response to the Government’s announced cuts stated that:
“Stripping out the professional help available to (students) is not only foolhardy; it is potentially damaging to young people’s lives and, ultimately, to the economy”.
However, the Government did defend their decision to make the cuts, hitting back by calling the careers guidance currently offered in schools as “poor quality and patchy”. Yet the concerns raised the National Careers Service Advisory Group remain, and some worry that young people who do not receive the appropriate knowledge and professional development from careers services may struggle in an increasingly competitive job market. And once they have jobs, students may then lack the skills and professional development to succeed within the workplace.
As a result of the cuts, schools will be required to provide any careers guidance to their students internally rather than from professional guidance counsellors. The effect of this, as a result of a lack of a universal standard, could be that many students do not require the right guidance and advice, and standards are likely to vary from school to school. This could leave some students disadvantaged from their peers as they face the important and difficult life choices facing them as they leave school, depending on their school’s guidance provisions.
Why have Careers Guidance?
A bamboozling number of options are available to new school leavers, from pursuing academic qualifications, to entering employment, or acquiring vocational skills and qualifications. Without advice from careers advisors, many young people could find it difficult to identify all of their options and fully research them appropriately.
Bodies like City & Guilds, who provide vocational training and qualifications, for example, offer routes into long-lasting and relatively stable careers in jobs such as plumbing and electrical work. These vocational careers not only provide a number of long-term benefits to new school leavers but can also help stabalise the already erratic economy. However, the fear is that without an adequate level of careers advice, young people could miss out on these opportunities and on the promising careers they afford.