Its on life support in many areas, says Cridland


Both the Education Select Committee and the BIS Select committee (in its report-Women in the Workplace- 20 June ) have  made urgent calls for better careers advice in schools.. In March, a survey of teenagers by the Education and Employers Taskforce found a “massive mismatch” between young people’s career expectations and the reality of the jobs available. The study also indicated that teenagers had a very weak understanding of potential earnings for different types of jobs.

And in June, the National Careers Council said face-to-face information was needed as part of a major upgrade in careers advice for young people in England.

John Cridland of the CBI  has joined the clamour for a change of direction in government policy . He said, on  19 June ,that careers advice is on “life support” in many areas, following schools and colleges being given sole statutory responsibility to give students independent, impartial advice from September 2012.

Speaking to the Grammar School Heads’ Association Annual Conference, Mr Cridland said it was right to give schools the freedom to run their own affairs – but warned that the Government “may have adopted too laissez faire an approach”, with serious consequences for our young people. And he backed calls from the National Careers Council (NCC) earlier this month to extend face-to-face advice from adults to students, as part of a major overhaul of the new National Careers Service.

Paul Chubb, executive director for Careers England, said: “This is a highly significant statement by the CBI.

“It is a telling moment when the voice of the nation’s employers, the CBI, adds its weight to the calls for the government to act to redress the problems caused by legislation which is not supported by sufficient statutory guidance to schools, with inadequate accountability measures, and far too laissez-faire an approach to quality assurance.”

Deirdre Hughes, of the NCC, believes that the National Careers Service, currently performing well for adults, with local face-to-face and online careers support, should be expanded to serve young people. She said there is “no substitute for young people’s access to career insights and face-to-face support from a qualified and knowledgeable career development professional. As exams season in schools comes to an end, the CBI’s call for urgent attention from government to improve careers provision for young people is both timely and essential for the future success of our economy.”

The ACSL wants the government to implement the recommendations of this months NCC report and agreed with the NCC view on face to face advice saying  “A national telephone helpline and a website are useful for information but they are no substitute for a conversation with a qualified, knowledgeable careers professional who can help them make informed choices.”


Under current statutory guidance schools are not obliged to offer face to face careers advice to their pupils



  1. One does wonder just how many times, and by whom, these important issues have to be raised before the government can be prompted into action.

    It is instructive to gain an insight into what is happening ‘on the ground’ to view the lists of vacancies for careers advisors on the ICG professional website (portico.icg)
    Here even a cursory glance would suggest that most advertised posts are in the South of England, with the majority in the private sector. This is a predictable outcome given the government inspired decimation of the careers service in the public sector.

    I would argue that the above situation is set to grow, with parenta who can afford it, accessing quality careers advice for their offspring, serving to limit aspirations for social mobility and exacerbating the North South divide.

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