Education committee calls for careers advice to be ‘high up the agenda’ in next parliament

Careers advice should be “high up the agenda” in the next parliament, the House of Commons education select committee urged today in a review of its work over the past five years.

The committee has published the eighth report of this parliament, which re-caps the work of the committee over the past five years.

In the section looking at the committee’s 2013 report on careers advice, the report says the issue remains a “work in progress” and should be a priority for the next government.

The report says: “Our report described the decision to transfer responsibility for careers guidance to individual schools as regrettable, and expressed concern that the quality of careers advice available to students was deteriorating.

“We recommended changes to increase the incentives for schools to provide the careers advice that their students need, including publication of an annual careers plan. We also recommended that the government require schools to work towards the quality in careers standard.

“While the government rejected this recommendation, we are pleased that it is considering updating its guidance on careers advice to include information about the quality in careers standard.

“In response to our report the government also accepted our recommendation that the National Careers Service should play a greater role in capacity building and brokering relationships between schools and employers.”

The report goes on to make reference to an appearance by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan in front of the committee in January, after which she was accused of “evading” questions about a new careers company.

The report continues: “When we returned to this issue a year after the publication of our report, it was clear to us that careers advice in schools was not improving, so we followed up our inquiry with a one-off session with the Secretary of State in January 2015.

“Drawing on this session, we recommended in our report on apprenticeships that the government urgently review the incentives for schools to provide good quality careers advice and recognise that the mantra of “trusting schools” does not work when the interests of schools and young people are not aligned.

“This remains a work in progress and should be high up the agenda in the next parliament.”

The report is available to download here.

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  1. SJ Porter

    The real problem that needs addressing is the quality of Careers Advice. This service is usually doled out by poorly informed people who are completely out of touch with the economy.

    This service needs to attract creative, problem solvers who can create a plan that maps aspirations, with skills acquisition and end game.

    They need employer links and the ability to help turn advice into action.

    The role needs redefining.