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Careers Advice Gap Needs Closing says Prospects

13 January 2013

Many young people are already beginning to face a lack of independent, quality careers advice says Prospects, the education, employment and training company, in response to the Education Committee’s report “Careers guidance for young people: The impact of the new duty on schools,” released today.

The implementation of the Education Act 2011, which came into force in September 2012, prompted an inquiry by the Education Select Committee into how schools are responding to their new duty to provide independent careers advice. Prospects submitted written evidence and subsequently gave oral evidence to the Committee. The inquiry also led the Education Select Committee to visit Bradford to hear more about the collaborative approach taken by the local authority, working with schools and colleges, in commissioning services, which Prospects delivers.

Ray Auvray, Executive Chairman of Prospects said:

“The Education Select Committee is right to say  ‘too many schools lack the skills, incentives or capacity to fulfil the duty put upon them without a number of changes being made’. Recent changes in provision of careers guidance have meant many young people are not getting the support they need. Current arrangements are patchy and at worst like a faulty sat-nav, steering people in the wrong direction.  Think tank, Policy Exchange estimates that 1 in 3 young people who begin A-levels drop out of their studies. This is both a waste of money and talent. Many people are jumping on the advice bandwagon and young people are making the wrong decisions based on the well-meaning advice of people who are unqualified and in some cases evidently biased. Young people need consistent, solid, reliable, professional, impartial careers advice. 

Mr Auvray added:

"We are pleased the Education Select Committee has listened to our suggestions and taken many of them on board, particularly its recognition of the importance of face to face advice. We also welcome the extension of access to independent careers guidance to students in year 8 and for those aged up 16-18 in schools and colleges from September 2013. Requiring schools to establish an annual careers plan is an important step in making schools accountable for the delivery of careers advice under their statutory duty.  But more substantial efforts also need to be made to shore up a gap which is clearly damaging many young people’s futures.”

Mr Auvray concluded:

“The Education Select Committee recommends best practise is identified and promoted. The committee praised the approach taken by Bradford Council, where the majority of schools and colleges have got together with the council to jointly commission independent careers guidance for young people, which Prospects delivers. This approach may go some way to helping schools budget for additional support.”

The Committee’s recommendation to expand the role of the National Careers Service with additional funding, to support young people and to aid capacity building and brokerage in schools is also welcomed by Prospects, as a leading provider of the face to face service in Greater London, the Midlands, and Yorkshire and Humber

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