Professional Careers Advice
Schools and colleges play an absolutely vital role in helping young people to develop their future ambitions. A sharper focus on supporting young people’s employability requires sound professional careers advice to help them make decisions on qualifications and training courses, as well as jobs and career choices. Headteachers are experiencing new requirements placed upon them to ensure young people are making the right choices and moving on to their next destination. New accountability frameworks, new destination measures and new inspections arrangements are impacting on the school and college agenda.
Since the passing of the 2011 Education Act, schools now have a statutory duty to secure careers guidance services either from a new National Careers Service or from other providers (a contractor-supplier relationship) for pupils in Years 9 to 11; but they may also appoint their own careers adviser. This presents a number of key challenges for school leaders and teachers in the classroom. Deciding on best strategies for ensuring effective careers provision will be crucial. The Department for Education is currently consulting on whether the duty should be extended down to Year 8 and up to Year 13.
The reality is that all schools are now faced with the difficult task of having responsibility for guiding their pupils to make successful transitions and achieve success. Do they go it alone or find other ways of building knowledge and support for themselves and their students? An important factor in ensuring quality of careers provision is that it should be delivered in a way that makes the most of the knowledge and expertise of everyone involved. Schools and colleges have to draw on their knowledge of pupils’ career development needs and work closely with external careers advisers with expertise in careers guidance and who have up to date labour market information (LMI) and knowledge of the world of work.
Careers Advice in the UK
In each of the four home countries differing arrangements operate. A good starting point in any school or college is to find out what’s the policy for providing impartial and independent professional careers advice. Who’s leading on this and what’s available, when, how and where?
For schools wanting immediate access to free careers services they should contact one of the national all-age careers services:
The National Connexions Service Network is a membership organisation for those who share a commitment to improving the provision of high quality careers education, information, advice and guidance services for young people, ensuring young people achieve employability and a successful transition to adult and working life. They can put you in touch with professional careers experts http://www.ncnxn.org/.
UK Careers Profession Alliance
A new UK Careers Profession Alliance is currently bringing together six careers professional associations to help build a strong careers profession that informs and supports young people and adults. The member bodies of the Careers Profession Alliance are:
- The Institute of Careers Guidance (ICG)
- Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS)
- Association for Careers Education and Guidance (ACEG)
- National Association for Educational Guidance for Adults (NAEGA)
- Northern Ireland Schools and Colleges Careers Association (NISCA)
- Association of Career Professionals International (ACPI)
The Careers Profession Alliance is also working on a UK-wide Register and Career Progression Framework for teachers and careers professionals due to be ready by April 2012.