From education to employment

Education Committee welcomes Government’s response to Careers Education report

students doing exam

The Education Committee today (21st September) publishes the Government’s response to its report on careers education, information, advice and guidance.

A summary of how the Government responded to the main recommendations from the Committee’s report that was published in June:

Teaching primary school pupils about careers: Ministers will publish an evaluation in 2024 of the first year of its pilot ‘careers programme’ that has been offered in 2,250 schools. It did not respond directly to the Committee’s recommendation of scaling up the programme to all primary schools in England if the evaluation is positive. 

Updating the 2017-2020 Strategy: The Government said it will publish a Strategic Action Plan for Careers in 2024 with “clear measurable outcomes”, such as improving schools’ achievement of the Gatsby Benchmarks, and dates for achieving them. 

‘Virtual work experience’ and tackling regional disadvantage: DfE said it agrees with the Committee that there is potential for an online platform that promotes a range of work experience placements both locally and across the country. It said: “We will consider how a digital solution could best support work experience, including the feasibility of including a national platform for work experience placements as part of the single starting point.” 

Removing administrative barriers around work experience: The Department agreed to look into ways of removing administrative barriers that prevent or discourage employers from providing work experience to young people, though without compromising on their wellbeing and safety. 

Supported internships for pupils with SEND: The Government said it will evaluate whether its Supported Internship pilot scheme, due to launch this autumn term, proves successful at improving the employment outcomes for 16-24-year-olds with complex SEND. It did not commit to extending this scheme nationwide if the pilot proves successful. 

Incorporating careers education into teacher training: The response said ministers will “explore opportunities” to support National Professional Qualifications (NPQ) training providers to consider how they use high-quality examples of careers education in their courses. DfE has also been working with the Careers Enterprise Company to provide development courses for teachers.

The Government rejected recommendations on funding, including: 

  • That the Department should pilot a programme of funding careers advisers directly through the CEC, rather than requiring schools and colleges to buy in this support from their existing budgets.
  • Making one-off developmental funding available for schools and colleges with the worst record of achieving the Gatsby benchmarks.

Education Committee Response

Education Committee Chair Robin Walker said:

“We welcome the Government’s broadly positive response to our report, including that it will look to remove unnecessary barriers that discourage employers from offering valuable work experience placements to young people. We also look forward to ministers following up on the proposal of a national platform for work experience placements, both virtual and in-person. We believe this could be of huge benefit to children from disadvantaged backgrounds who aren’t lucky enough to have big employers on their doorsteps. Likewise, the Committee will take a keen interest in the results of DfE’s pilot careers programme in primary schools, and in the contents of DfE’s promised Strategic Action Plan. 

“We support the Government’s moves to improve teacher training and development so that careers education can be integrated into the curriculum. If the Government gets this right it could help bring academic subjects to life and leave young people with a clearer sense of what they can achieve with their skills. 

“My colleagues and I strongly urge the Government to bring forward legislation in the forthcoming King’s speech so that, at last, a national register of pupils not in schools can be established. Ministers need to finally put their supportive words on this policy into action.”

Related Articles