From education to employment

Graham Hoyle of the ALP contributes towards FE News discussion on Careers and Guidance

The Association of Learning Providers hears of many young people that would be better suited to the work based route being steered towards staying on in school or going on to college. We believe that many of these young people are not getting the truly independent and impartial careers information, advice and guidance (IAG) they need to make the right choice of route. All young people, regardless of ability, need this independent IAG ““ and need it at a far earlier stage than tends to be the case for most young people currently. Too often schools fail to ensure their pupils (especially the higher achievers) get independent IAG, preferring instead to try to persuade them to stay on at school. We have even been told of some schools that actually do not allow work based options to be brought to the attention of their pupils.

We believe that the move to put careers guidance to schools/Children’s Trusts is disastrous ““ there are too many vested interests involved. The only solution is a completely impartial IAG universally available to ensure best choice of pathway chosen. In Scotland, the all-age Careers Scotland service is independent and allowed access to schools. It is time that England copied this example as other countries around the world are doing.

Even young people who take the decision to leave school and seek an alternative route are not always pointed to the best way forward for their abilities and aspirations. Many simply enrol at the local college, often onto an inappropriate course, sometimes leading to qualifications employers do not value/want. In fact, some college courses now designated as “Programme Led Apprenticeships” are not preparing the young person adequately to move on to an Employer Led Apprenticeship. They finish their “course” but are unable to progress further without “remedial” action if they are to enter into the work based route successfully. This is not effective use of taxpayers” money and can leave the young person disillusioned and much more likely to opt out of training completely.

Graham Hoyle is chief executive of the Association of Learning Providers (

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