'Inadequate' school careers guidance is failing young people & should be punished by Ofsted, says new report

Too many young people are leaving education without having the chance to fully consider their future options, the report has revealed. 

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Careers advice in schools is failing young people

Schools shown to have “inadequate” careers guidance could be downgraded by Ofsted, a report by the Commons sub-committee on education, skills and the economy has concluded.

In the report, published today, the sub-committee outlines how too many young people are leaving education without having the chance to fully consider their future options.

It also identifies that young people are not being given the opportunity to explore how their skills and experiences fit with opportunities in the jobs market.

The sub-committee judged that a host of policy changes, initiatives and new bodies introduced in recent years have failed to make serious improvements and in some cases have even been counter-productive.

The report urges the government to incentivise schools to improve, which includes Ofsted downgrading those where careers provision is sub-standard.

The government should also get to grips with the complex web of organisations, service providers and websites overseeing and offering careers advice and put a ssingle Minister in charge of provision, the report states.

Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Committee and Co-Chair, said "At a time when it is vital we equip young people with the right skills for their working lives, it’s concerning that so many are being failed by the guidance they receive.

Careers advice should be a core part of a young person’s schooling but at the moment it is little more than a poorly thought out add-on. Schools should be incentivised to treat careers education, advice, information and guidance as a priority.

The Committee recommends Ofsted plays a bigger role in ensuring careers guidance is up to scratch by downgrading those who do not deliver high quality provision. A school should not be graded as 'good' if its careers provision is inadequate."

Iain Wright, Chair of the Business, Innovation, and Skills Committee and Co-Chair of the ESE Sub-Committee, said: "The world of business and work is changing rapidly. There is huge choice in the career paths young people could embark upon and rapid change also means that there will be opportunities for jobs and professions in new and emerging industries.

In this context, young people and their parents need the best possible and clear guidance to inform their choices and decisions. Yet initiative after initiative has rained down from Government in recent years with regards to careers guidance, creating a confusing and costly mess when what we really need is a clear picture.

With the skills gap widening, it is essential that young people are well-informed about the experiences, qualifications and training they need to pursue their chosen careers and that the guidance they are given is grounded in accurate information about the jobs market."

At a time when it is vital we equip young people with the right skills for their working lives, it’s concerning that so many are being failed by the guidance they receive.

Careers advice should be a core part of a young person’s schooling but at the moment it is little more than a poorly thought out add-on. Schools should be incentivised to treat careers education, advice, information and guidance as a priority.

The Committee recommends Ofsted plays a bigger role in ensuring careers guidance is up to scratch by downgrading those who do not deliver high quality provision. A school should not be graded as 'good' if its careers provision is inadequate."

Iain Wright, Chair of the Business, Innovation, and Skills Committee and Co-Chair of the ESE Sub-Committee, said:

"The world of business and work is changing rapidly. There is huge choice in the career paths young people could embark upon and rapid change also means that there will be opportunities for jobs and professions in new and emerging industries.

In this context, young people and their parents need the best possible and clear guidance to inform their choices and decisions. Yet initiative after initiative has rained down from Government in recent years with regards to careers guidance, creating a confusing and costly mess when what we really need is a clear picture.

With the skills gap widening, it is essential that young people are well-informed about the experiences, qualifications and training they need to pursue their chosen careers and that the guidance they are given is grounded in accurate information about the jobs market."

 

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