The long-overdue careers strategy has finally been unveiled by the apprenticeships and skills minister, at the Careers Development Institute’s annual conference this morning. 

This includes £4 million to support every school and college to have a careers leader, and a further £5 million funding to develop 20 careers hubs, which will be led by the Careers and Enterprise Company. 

It explains that the National Careers Service will provide specialist advice for adults who need it most, including the long-term unemployed and those with additional needs, and will also have an updated “one-stop shop” website. 

“Without access to the best possible careers support, some people will miss out on the opportunities available,” Ms Milton said.

“They will continue to be held back if they don’t have the right advice, at the right time to make informed decisions about their future, or may not have access to the broader experiences and role models to help them develop as people. 

“It matters to me that we give people from all backgrounds the best possible preparation to move into a job, or training that enables them – whatever their background or wherever they live – to have a fulfilling life.”

According to today’s announcement, the £4 million is to ensure that every school and college has a dedicated careers leader in place by the start of the new academic year, who can give advice on the best training routes and up-to-date information on the jobs market and help young people make decisions about their future.

Schools and colleges will also be “expected to publish details of their careers programme for young people and their parents” by September 2018, it said, when Ofsted will also have to “comment in college inspection reports on the careers guidance provided to young people” from.

Plans from the same launch date were also announced that are set to involve the the CEC launching “a new investment fund of £5 million to support the most disadvantaged pupils”.

The document added: “To target more support on those who need it most, the government will invest £5 million during 2018 in a new round of the CEC’s investment fund. This will help disadvantaged pupils to get the additional support they need to prepare for work, including opportunities for mentoring and guidance.”

The 20 careers hubs will be developed in the areas of the country most in need and will link schools and colleges with local universities and employers to help broaden pupils’ horizons.

A new website, to be launched by the National Careers Service next year, will bring together careers information to support people at the start of their careers or who want to retrain or upskill.

The Careers and Enterprise Company will also have an expanded role to support schools and colleges to meet the eight clear benchmarks for good careers advice, as set out by the Gatsby charitable foundation. 

Ms Milton, who introduced the four “pillars” of the strategy at the Careers Education and Guidance Summit in early November, had previously said the strategy would be coming “shortly”.

Today marks the end of a two-year wait for the careers strategy.

It was promised as far back as in December 2015, by the former education and childcare minister Sam Gyimah, who said the Department for Education would “publish a comprehensive careers strategy in the coming weeks”.

Nothing materialised, however.

Robert Halfon, Ms Milton’s predecessor as skills minister, also promised that a strategy was on its way at a meeting in parliament in January, when he claimed it would appear the following week.

The four pillars of the strategy are ensuring a “high-quality careers programme” in every college and school; making sure employers “are an integral part of our approach”; making sure everyone can benefit from “tailored support”; and making the most of the “rich sources of information about jobs and careers that exist”.


The government’s timetable for change, taken from the new careers strategy:

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  1. This is a good and encouraging start, not just for everyone working as a Career Development Professional, but for the nation and for individuals.
    To back it up and make a real impact a fundamental change is required in the way that the education system is focussed: from pure academic results and university entrance to how well they educate young people in the skills they really need to manage their career: communication, resilience and stress management, adaptability to change, empathy, understanding their values and alignment with company values, entrepreneurship …and so on.
    This change needs to translate into the adult population so that organisations and individuals recognise and value the benefits of having the skills to manage a career now and in the future.
    It is within our capacity to deliver this and it will take commitment from government, education and business to make it happen.

    (Dave Cordle RCDP, CMP)is a Career Development Professional of 17 years experience, a Governor and Chair of the Global Career Council for the Institute of Career Development International)