From education to employment

New Careers Service takes shape

At the annual conference of the Institute of Career Guidance, Skills Minister John Hayes on 4 November 2010 had announced the government’s vision of the first all-age careers service in England.

In his speech, the minister had said both young people aged 13 to 19 and adults will be able to begin accessing the new arrangements from September 2011, and the first all-age careers service in England will be fully operational by April 2012.

The New Careers Service agenda is based on the core principles of independence and professionalism providing impartial advice, which is independent of any organisation with a vested interest, underpinned by objective and realistic information about careers, skills and the labour market.

To realise the vision, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has been working with career professional associations to establish and deliver a quality standard careers guidance.

Other organisations in the National Careers Service will also be expected to support their staff to achieve these standards.

BIS will continue to fund a high quality online and helpline service for adults, and it aims to link the New Careers Service to similar services for young people, so there is a single point of access for all users of each service from September 2011. The government will also continue to fund a network of public, private and voluntary sector organisations to provide face to face careers guidance to adults.

According to BIS, its indicative budget for information, advice and guidance services in 2012-13 is £84.4 million, although this figure is subject to final confirmation.

Subject to passage of the Education Bill, schools will be under a legal duty to secure independent impartial careers guidance for their students and will be required to work in close partnership with expert independent advisers from September 2012.

Universities will continue to provide their own careers services, but also to encourage use of the new all age careers service, and will be urged to apply the same standards.

Local authorities will continue to have a requirement to ensure support is provided for the most vulnerable groups, and to support them into education employment or training. They will also be responsible for maintaining accurate data on young people that will ensure services can be targeted at those in most need.

Aastha Gill

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