Good careers guidance has never been so important warn MPs

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House of Commons Education Committee report examines the impact of the new duty on schools to provide independent and impartial careers guidance for young people

The House of Commons Education Select Committee report published 23rd January 2013 examines the impact of the new duty on schools to provide independent and impartial careers guidance to young people.  The Committee found that the quality and quantity of guidance for young people is deteriorating just when it is most needed. Education Committee Chair Graham Stuart MP said: 

"Young people are faced with ever more complicated choices. They must choose the type of school they go to, what subjects or qualifications they should enter, college and university courses (with differential pricing) and then between a myriad of career options. That's why good careers guidance has never been so important".

The Committee's report warns that careers guidance cannot be left to schools alone and urges the Government to extend the remit of the National Careers Service for adults to provide support for schools and young people as well.

Diana Garnham, Chief Executive of the Science Council commented:

"The Science Council strongly supports the Committee's view that choices facing young people are increasingly complex, and impartial guidance is vital to support good decision making. This is especially important for those without the benefit of well informed parents or a wider support network to draw on".

The Committee welcomes Ofsted's thematic review of careers guidance but emphasises the need for further accountability and recommends that schools be required to produce an annual careers plan.

Ms Garnham, who is also chair of the BIS Science for Careers Expert Group welcomed this recommendation:

"The annual careers plan suggested by the Committee would be a step in the right direction and should encourage schools to think about how they integrate careers awareness activities across all areas of school life so that it can be more that just stand alone interviews. But we know schools are stretched and teachers are very busy, so the Science Council is now looking at ways in which it can support schools by providing good case studies of academic and vocational routes to STEM careers".

The Science Council's careers information website, Future Morph provides resources for school teachers and ideas for integrating careers awareness. It also signposts the large range of resources available from the Science Council member organisations.