From education to employment

All eyes on careers guidance

In the wake of radical changes to the careers profession, Skills Minister John Hayes will address the annual conference of the Institute of Career Guidance on 3-4 November in Brighton.

With career services having undergone massive redundancies (estimated at around 4,000) throughout the UK, and with new legislation set to transfer from next year the responsibility for providing career information advice and guidance to children aged from 9 to 11 from local authorities to schools in England, without providing them with any additional budget, Hayes’ address is expected to attract considerable interest.

The government’s decision to create an all-age National Careers Service for England, which will mainly be delivered through a website and telephone advice helplines, to replace Connexions and Next Step, the respective services for young people and adults, has also raised concerns within the profession.

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Steve Higginbotham, President of The Institute of Career Guidance (ICG), said about the impending changes: “This is a tough time for the careers profession. Whilst we understand the need for change it is no secret that the Institute has some serious concerns about the transition arrangements and the replacement of face-to-face guidance by online services.”

He added: “The Minister’s involvement in the conference and the work done by Government to introduce the National Careers Service are steps foward. But there is still more to do to ensure that young people can get access to high quality face-to- face career guidance from career professionals.”

Apostolos Kostoulas

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