The National Careers Council  is disappointed in progress and notes a decline in careers services to young people

NCC seeks culture change


The National Careers Council was established in May 2012 by the Skills Minister to advise Government on careers provision for young people and adults in England.

In 2013, the Council set out a future strategic vision for the National Careers Service. It  advised Government that the general public  should expect to find:

“A recognised, trusted, independent and impartial careers service for young people and adults that works with employers and educators to help engage more people more successfully with the UK economy.”

In June 2013, the NCC published “An Aspirational Nation: Creating a culture change in careers provision” which included seven recommendations, all approved by the government.

This latest report monitors progress since that June report. The results, the NCC says, are disappointing.

The Council states:

“Our main assessment of progress since our first report is that, despite some signs of development, not enough action has been taken towards achieving a genuinely relevant all-age careers system. The Council is disappointed with the slow progress made in implementing its seven key recommendations. There is a great deal  that still needs to be done – particularly on careers provision for young  people – with better support also needed for parents and teachers.”

The report concludes  that Careers services for young people in England need to be urgently improved and  highlights more generally  a lack of consistency and availability of careers advice. It warns that too many youngsters do not get the advice they need about work. Deirdre Hughes, who chaired the council, said a “culture change in careers provision was urgently needed”. Adding “Some progress has been made in the last 12 months, but this has been far too slow.

“Meanwhile, our education and labour markets remain complex and confusing for young people, parents and teachers, and there are significant costs associated with this.

“We urge government and others to take action across England to halt the rapid decline in careers services for young people.”

The report says there are “massive variations” in the advice available, depending on where young people live. It says in one region there are 134 careers advisory services, and in another there is only one. There are also concerns that the National Careers Service has been structured to focus mainly on the needs of adults, leaving a gap in school-age advice services.

The Council accepts that moving from a National Careers Service, which is currently focused on adults, towards a genuinely all-age careers service is not without its challenges.  But it adds “We need to drive up the quality and impact of careers provision so that every individual gets the help they need to leave education and/or training with the qualifications, skills and experience to be successful on their chosen  path.”

It says  “ the  growing careers market is crowded, confused and complex with a multiplicity of disjointed careers provision”

Nick Chambers, Director of the Education and Employers Taskforce charity said: “Over the last year there has been a plethora of reports on careers provision from a wide range of organisations. They all agree that more needs to be done to provide young people with better careers advice and guidance. Far too many young people are having to make vital and incredibly important decisions about their futures without access to good and reliable information. Careers provision is undergoing a much needed culture change but in order to assist and accelerate this change we need to support schools and help them so that they can ensure that all our young people have access to high quality, impartial professional careers advice backed up by first-hand insights into the world of work.”

This report sets out four recommendations which the Council believes are needed to bring about action and greater investment in a culture change in careers provision.

Recommendation 1

The Government should establish an Employer-led Advisory Board  reporting directly to relevant ministers comprising senior representatives  from employers, education and the career development profession.  Such a body would advise on careers provision, guide the work of the National Careers Service and ensure value for money

Recommendation 2

The Government should provide schools and colleges with free and/or  subsidised access to independent and impartial career development  professionals’ expertise. This would help in the transition phase to support schools and colleges to meet their new statutory duties

Recommendation 3

The National Careers Service should, as a matter of high priority,  improve its website to make it attractive and appealing to young  people, parents and teachers.

Recommendation 4

The Government should support the scaling up of existing and successful initiatives and the piloting of innovative local models.  This would be best achieved by establishing a careers investment fund administered by the DfE which would ensure a good service nation-wide, though delivered in different and locally-relevant ways,  by a range of organisations


National Careers Council Report

Taking action: Achieving a culture change in careers provision-Sept 2014



Extract from Pg 10 report of NCC  –Taking Action:Achieving a culture change in careers provision-Sept 2014

‘Over the last year, a plethora of evidence-based research and published reports reaffirm the central theme of the National Careers  Council report to Government in June 2013 on the urgent need for  improved careers provision across England. Some examples are provided below. The Women’s Business Council (2014),  Lord Young (2014), Lord Adonis (2014) and many others all emphasise  the need for greater attention by Government to improve careers  provision across England, particularly for young people.

National Careers Council – England

The Association of Accounting Technicians (ATT, 2014)

The Chartered Institute for Personnel & Development (2014)

Careers England (2014)

The Association of Colleges (2014)

The Gatsby Foundation (2014)1

Careers Sector Strategic Alliance (CSSA, 2014)

The British Chamber of Commerce (2014)

The IPPR (2014)

 The Edge Foundation (2014)

The British Youth Council (2014)

The Local Government Association (2014)

The Work Foundation (2014)

The Confederation of British Industry (2014)

The National Union of Students & the  Learning and Skills  Improvement Service  (2014)

The Centre for Social Justice (2013)

The Education Select Committee (2014)

The Federation of Small Businesses

Unison (2013)




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