Skills minister John Hayes today set out his vision for the first all-age careers service in England.
Both young people aged 13-19 and adults will be able to begin accessing new arrangements for careers guidance from September 2011. The service will be fully operational by April 2012. It will build on the best of Next Step and Connexions and provide a fully joined up service for all age groups for the first time.
John Hayes said:
“Informed learners are empowered learners. The right guidance at the right time not only helps young people and adults to progress in learning, but also increases their confidence and motivation to succeed. Careers guidance is at the heart of increasing social mobility, and a vital part of the machinery of social justice.”
“I have long argued for the creation of an all-age careers service. A unified, consistent service that offers seamless support to young people as they make the transition to adulthood and have a true focus on lifelong learning.”
The all-age careers service will be founded on the core principles of independence and professionalism.
Schools will be under a legal duty to secure independent, impartial careers guidance for their students, but will be free to decide how best to support young people to make good careers choices.
In response to recommendations of the Careers Progression Task Force, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education will be working closely with advice professionals, schools and colleges on how best to revitalise the professional status of careers guidance. Options under consideration include introducing a new kite mark to recognise the best career guidance services or establishing a register of providers who meet the highest standards.
John Hayes added: “Everyone knows that impartial advice is always the best advice. But that independent advice must also be underpinned by professional expertise.
“I want to re-professionalise the careers service and create an environment in which careers guidance is recognised for the important public good it is, in which young people, adults, schools, colleges, universities and whole communities see its value, use it and invest in it.
“I am calling on the careers sector in England to rise to the challenge of implementing the new all-age careers service.”
John Hayes made the announcement at the Institute of Careers Guidance (ICG) annual conference in Belfast.
Noting that Wales and Scotland have established all-age careers services, he added: “There is no monopoly of wisdom in this area. Events like the ICG conference offer a valuable chance for us to compare experience and learn from the best approaches across the whole of the UK.”
Notes to editors
1. The all-age careers service will be delivered through a range of channels – online, telephone and in the community – with prioritised intensive face-to-face guidance.
Local authorities will continue to have a statutory duty to provide services to young people that enable, encourage and assist them to participate in education and training.
2. A copy of John Hayes speech to the ICG annual conference will be available on the BIS website.
3. The Connexions Service offers advice to young people aged 13-19 living in England. They provide advice on learning, work, housing and money. They also provide support up to the age of 25 for young people who have learning difficulties or disabilities (or both). http://www.connexions-direct.com/
4. Next Step provides free and confidential information and advice to support adults in England to make appropriate decisions on a full range of learning and work opportunities.https://nextstep.direct.gov.uk/Pages/Home.aspx
5. The Careers Progression Task Force (CPTF) has made 14 recommendations to establish and enhance the principles of professionalism in the careers sector. The Careers Profession Alliance has already agreed to take ownership of many of the recommendations, with support from the National College, the TDA and LSIS. The Task Force will formally report on progress in March 2011 and March 2012. The full CPTF report can be found at www.education.gov.uk.
6. The Institute for Careers Guidance (ICG) is the largest professional association for careers guidance practitioners in the UK with over 4000 members.
7. BIS' online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.
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