The long-awaited report from the House of Commons Education and Business, Innovation and Skills committees on careers advice, information and guidance was published today.
A summary of the key points can be found below:
Careers education, information, advice and guidance in English schools is patchy and often inadequate. Too many young people are leaving education without the tools to help them consider their future options or how their skills and experiences fit with opportunities in the job market. This failure is exacerbating skills shortages and having a negative impact on the country’s productivity.
The Government is shortly to publish a careers strategy. This strategy is urgently needed and must take strong action to improve careers provision.
We have suggested a number of areas upon which it should concentrate:
- Government policy should be to incentivise schools to bring their careers provision up to standard and to hold them to account when they fail to do so. Ofsted’s role should be strengthened, and schools downgraded if careers provision is not effective.
- The complex web of national organisations should be untangled. There should be a single Minister in charge of careers provision for all ages, and a rationalisation of the Government-funded organisations delivering careers programmes. The Careers & Enterprise Company should be empowered to act as the umbrella organisation it was intended to be.
- Steps should also be taken to bring order to the congested market place of service providers and websites. The Quality in Careers and matrix Standards should be merged into a single brand.
- Careers advice and guidance should be grounded in accurate information about the labour market. The Government should ensure that Local Enterprise Partnerships have the capacity—and are encouraged—to provide up-to-date, good quality labour market information to schools, colleges and careers professionals in their areas.
- Finally, all young people should be given the opportunity to understand better the world of work, through engagement with employers and meaningful work experience.
By taking the steps we recommend, the Government can finally create a careers system that helps both to prepare our young people well for their future lives and to give the economy a workforce with the skills it needs.