New legislation requires all maintained schools and academies to provide opportunities for a range of education and training providers to have access to pupils.
Skills Minister Anne Milton has highlighted how the Government’s careers strategy sets out how it will ensure all young people can learn from employers and providers about the range of opportunities available to them.
The strategy includes new legislation that aims to give all young people the chance to talk regularly to local education and training providers.
This means young people can learn more about different routes to higher-level skills and the workplace, including technical and professional qualifications, apprenticeships, traineeships and supported internships.
The new careers guidance law introduced in January 2018 requires all maintained schools and academies to provide opportunities for a range of education and training providers to have access to pupils, to inform them about approved technical education qualifications and apprenticeships.
Skills Minister Anne Milton explained why this new legislation is important:
I want every young person, whatever their background, to have a good understanding of both the academic and technical routes that can lead to future success in a rewarding career or job.
We must expand the breadth of information that young people receive on all education and training options but particularly technical options and apprenticeships. It is only by talking directly to a range of providers, including university technical colleges, FE colleges and apprenticeship providers, that young people can truly appreciate the opportunities available to them.
To comply, schools must publish a policy statement on their website setting out how providers can request access.
The statement can be short but must include:
- the process for requesting access - this might be details for the main contact point at the school
- grounds for granting and refusing access - this might include details of timetabled careers lessons, assemblies or events which providers may attend
- details of premises or facilities available to those given access - this might be a brief reference to rooms and resources
Skills Minister Anne Milton said:
I recognise that schools have needed time to adjust to this new legislation but, now that it is in place, all schools should have published their arrangements for providers to visit all pupils in years 8 to 13. I know that schools already provide a range of inspiring and informative careers events, assemblies and options evenings. In many cases, schools can comply with the legislation by integrating a range of opportunities for provider visits into those existing plans and making this information publicly available.
More details about what schools need to do to comply with the legislation are in Careers guidance and access for education and training providers. This includes an example policy statement, which schools can adapt to suit their needs. This must take account of what action is required to comply with the law, as set out in paragraphs 61 to 69.
Angela Middleton, Chairman and Founder of MiddletonMurray, said:
The government’s new careers strategy is of fundamental importance - we need to be presenting young people with all further education options, whether they’re academic or technical.
I wholeheartedly agree with Skills Minister Anne Milton in that we must expand the information young people receive about their future career and education choices. I welcome the news that employers and providers will be given access to school to discuss options with pupils.
I’ve always advocated that no one route is better than the other and it is great that the Minister is helping to raise awareness of this.
However, the new strategy doesn’t go far enough.
Careers advice should be made easily accessible from the beginning of an individual’s school career up to pension age to allow people to make more informed decisions and address the skills gap in the country.