Businesses key to improving careers advice, Education Secretary tells party conference

Businesses should work more closely with schools on improving careers advice, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said today.

Despite claims by Skills Minister Nick Boles that careers advice would feature prominently, Ms Morgan’s speech to the Conservative Party conference contained no policy announcement on the subject.

Instead, she said that careers, “for too long overlooked in schools”, were now essential.

She added: “Let’s make work experience something of value, something that opens people’s eyes to the possibilities of the world of work, something that helps them aspire to more.

“And let’s get businesses working closely with schools to help children make the right choices at the right time, choices that help them pursue the careers they want… careers that perhaps they had never thought of before.”

Ms Morgan had sounded in conciliatory mood as she took to the stage at the ICC in Birmingham and promised to ease teachers’ workload.

In a speech which was light on policy, but demonstrated a significant change in rhetoric, Ms Morgan pledged to reduce the burden on teachers, but stopped short of announcing any policy to do so, instead promising to speak to teachers and unions.

Ms Morgan also said the government needed to show all providers, regardless of type, that they were equally valued.

She said: “Conference, if there’s one thing I ask of you today, it’s that we show every school that we are on their side, that everything we have done has been driven by the desire to raise standards for all pupils in all schools.

“And that we care more about what a young person sees as they walk out of the gate than we do about the name they see on the way in.”

Additionally, she spoke of the successes of existing policies including the English Baccalaureate, University Technical College and new tech baccs.