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Choosing the right path on National Careers Week

04 March 2015

Once again careers advice is firmly back on the agenda this week with National Careers Week. To coincide with this, we have been promoting our Careers Guidance: Guaranteed campaign. Colleges across the country will have been hosting a range of activities to promote the benefits of good quality, impartial careers advice. Last week MPs were discussing the same issue in the House of Commons. It was pleasing that a number highlighted our campaign, and that this important problem is kept in the mind of politicians. Despite the calls for more apprenticeships, more vocational pathways and more ‘job ready’ young people, the fact remains that none of these things can be improved without a step change in the way careers advice is delivered. That is why Careers Guidance: Guaranteed is calling for careers advice to be improved in two ways. First, the introduction of local careers hubs between schools, colleges and universities in each area that we see being facilitated by the local enterprise partnerships. Such a hub would provide a one-stop shop of information about careers advice, courses and local job opportunities. This would help to create a holistic system with one destination for all careers related advice and guidance – for young people and adults. Alongside this we need to ensure that careers education is embedded into the curriculum. This would move away from the current inconsistent provision for young people and instead allow for an integrated system of delivering careers advice in schools and colleges. This will make sure that all young people are given the support and guidance they need to choose the right route for their chosen career path. What we are clear about with both of these recommendations is that flexibility is required in the adoption of any model. A ‘one size fits all’ approach has not and will not work. In order to meet the demands of local labour market intelligence, skills shortages and the needs of the local community, providers in each area must have the freedom to respond to how they see best. From Bath to Barnsley, there are many good examples of schools and colleges who are already practicing our recommendation for local careers hubs. In 64 days’ time, the incoming Government has a chance to rectify this situation by investing in a service that would benefit young people, adults and in turn the whole country.