Last week, new figures revealed that youth employment has now reached 20%. On top of this the education maintenance allowance has been got rid of and tuition fees have trebled. Despite the fact that under-19s now need careers guidance more than ever, experts have warned that careers advice in school is being scrapped.
Next April a new service for British schools is to be introduced as part of the reforms to careers guidance. The new system would mean that under-19s would no longer receive careers advice in person, they would instead have to call a helpline or speak to someone via the internet. If schools wish to continue face-to-face careers advice they are able to do so, but they will not receive any of the £203 million worth of funding that will pay for the new measures.
All-Age Career Service group outraged
The All-Age Career Service was the original government appointed advisory group, however on the 20th June the group was transformed into the National Careers Advisory Service without any warning or consultation. This has caused such outrage that all 20 members of the group considered resignation.
“It will not be an all-age careers service,” says Steve Higginbotham, president of the Institute of Career Guidance. “It is a rebranded Next Step service for adults plus an all-age telephone advice line and website. The group’s expertise was not used in any meaningful way and officials did their best to avoid answering difficult questions when they clearly knew almost from the outset that the government’s intentions were not what had originally been stated.”
“Vulnerable young people” will suffer the most
“Vulnerable young people will suffer most from the withdrawal of the service, says Dame Ruth Silver, chair of the Careers Profession Task Force, who is also a member of the advisory group. “It will further deepen deprivation, because some people come from families who have never worked; the ones who need it most are those who don’t have successful adults in their lives”.
Paul Chubb, director of Careers England, says that the fact that schools will be given no funding for careers guidance, nor will they be under any obligation to produce a professional and impartial service means that the new measures cannot be a success.