Education Committee publishes Careers Guidance for Young People Report

23 January 2013

Careers guidance services for young people have deteriorated and will continue to do so unless urgent steps are taken by the Government, warns the House of Commons Education Committee. 

Launching a report that examines the impact of the new duty on schools to provide independent and impartial careers guidance for young people, Education Committee Chair Graham Stuart MP said:

"Young people are faced with ever more complicated choices. They must choose the type of school they go to, what subjects or qualifications they should enter, college and university courses (with differential pricing) and then between a myriad of career options. 

That's why good careers guidance has never been so important.

The Education Committee has found that the quality and quantity of guidance for young people is deteriorating just when it is most needed. If young people are to benefit from the increased choices created by this Government we need a careers advice and guidance system which supports them to make the right ones.

We want face-to-face guidance to be available to all young people as an integral part of a good quality careers service. They deserve and should receive far better support than current arrangements generally allow."

The Committee identifies a worrying deterioration in the level of provision for young people and highlights concerns about the quality, independence, impartiality and availability of careers guidance.

"The  National Careers Service (NCS) is a great innovation for adults but we want to see its remit extended to include support for schools by providing a capacity-building and brokerage role. The NCS must also be adequately funded to deliver this critical service for young people. Schools can’t simply be left to get on with it.

Too many schools put their own interests ahead of that of their pupils, restrict access to other education providers and make the filling of their sixth form places more of a priority than their statutory duty to provide independent and impartial advice and guidance for pupils. That’s why the Committee recommends that schools be required to produce an annual careers plan to ensure that they can be held accountable for what they do."

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