SOUND CAREERS ADVICE IMPORTANT TO ECONOMY
But Commons Committee says careers advice in schools has serious shortcomings
Yet another report has stressed the importance of sound careers advice to young people and the economy and stressed the inadequacy of current arrangements in schools.
The Commons Business and Enterprise Select Committee in its report Risk and Reward: sustaining a higher value-added economy (September 2009) – highlighted the importance of demand-led training.
Sir John Rose explained to the Committee that “If you are a young person, you are going to respond to the signals that you get from industry and from government about where the opportunities are likely to lie. This is not just a supply issue; this is a demand issue”.
The Committee concluded that “the skills available to the United Kingdom depend on the individual choices made by individual students and workers. They will create the demand for the training which will sustain the higher value-added economy. They will only do so if they have a realistic understanding of the opportunities available to those with particular skills. They will also need to know that employers reward the skills they say they need.” Crucially, the Committee added “ We also stress the importance of well-informed, up-to-date careers advice in schools to encourage children to consider careers in business—especially in engineering—and in entrepreneurship, alongside balanced advice about other careers. Careers advice in most schools appears not to be of the standard required to enable young people to make properly informed choices and we urge the Government to consider how this serious shortcoming can be addressed. If our economy is to continue adding value and competing successfully internationally, it is essential that young people understand the true range of opportunities open to them.”