Concerns raised by the National Careers Service Advisory Group warn that recent cuts in careers advice funding for schools could result in a negative outcome. The Group warned that the cuts could be ‘potentially damaging to young people’s lives’, in a statement on the decrease in funding.
The Group is made up of representatives from education experts, trade unions, business leaders, careers organisations, and head teachers. Their recently released statement on the Government’s cuts warned that:
“Stripping out the professional help available to (students) is not only foolhardy; it is potentially damaging to young people’s lives and, ultimately, to the economy”.
The Government defended their decision to cut the funding, describing current careers guidance in schools as ‘poor quality and patchy’. However, the fear remains that without professional advice and guidance from careers advisors, young people will leave school lacking the knowledge and professional development skills to acquire jobs and succeed in a workplace environment.
One of the main repercussions of the funding cuts will be to require schools to provide any careers guidance internally to students, but the worry is that schools may not be able to adequately prepare students for the important career decisions that face them as they enter the world of work and further education. In addition, because schools will be providing advice internally, the level of advice offered to students may vary wildly between schools as there is no standardised approach. This could potentially leave some students disadvantaged in a highly competitive job market.
There is a bewildering array of options for academic qualifications, vocational skills training, and direct entry into jobs, for new school leavers, and without guidance many students may struggle to identify all of their options.
Vocational skills bodies such as City & Guilds, for example, can offer direct routes to fulfilling and lasting careers through a range of vocational skills training and courses. These include case study traditional trades such as plumbing which not only are great careers for young people to embark upon, but also provide essential services which help stimulate the economy. The fears are that, with lower levels of specialised careers guidance, students may not be aware of the opportunities open to them outside of further and higher education.
We feel that many students are already leaving school with little or no career objectives, which needs to be given to shape the future of the UK and support this report whole-heartedly. Many other countries make careers guidance mandatory to improve the bewildering choices from University and further education to vocational education & apprenticeships. Vocational training in particular gives students the right amount of hands-on experience to be able to comfortably gain a position in a company or work for themselves to improve their lives.