“Let’s help schools improve careers advice,” says NIACE Chief

10 September 2013

Schools should not be blamed for poor levels of careers advice, but should be supported by the community so that young people get the advice and direction they need to make positive decisions about their future, according to NIACE in response to Ofsted’s report – Going in the right direction – on careers advice in schools since September 2012.

David Hughes, NIACE Chief Executive, said:

“Employers have a vital role in supporting Information, Advice and Guidance in schools to help motivate young people to see why learning is critical. Schools need employers, colleges and others to help deliver realistic and inspiring career and life education to all young people. The responsibility for this is not just on the schools working in isolation but for the communities they serve to also play a significant role.

“Young people need the best advice when considering all their options to get them ready for the world of work. Including employers in the careers advice process will go some way to inspiring those wanting to take a more vocational route at the start of their working lives through Apprenticeships. This will help them to see it as an equally important way to build a sustainable and fulfilling career as taking a more traditional route through university. Our research work with the Armed Forces showed that young people, once motivated, will achieve, even where they did not do so at school. That motivation is key and is why Information, Advice and Guidance alongside employer involvement is crucial.

“We are pleased to see the swift response to this report from Government. It shows that the Minister is taking these findings seriously. However, in our devolved system of free schools and academies we need community leaders, employers and parents to support and ensure that all schools provide quality careers advice for all young people.

“What’s vital is that young people are given the opportunity to develop their skills so they can manage their careers throughout their lives. Setting the foundations for lifelong learning and work, they need to be flexible and make well-informed and realistic decisions throughout what will undoubtedly be long and varied careers. We need to ensure that those careers, where the job for life is no longer realistic, are as fulfilling and invigorating as possible.”