By August of this year, we should see the new aacs (Adult Advancement and Careers Service) in action. BIS (The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) has issued the latest document on the new aacs: A blueprint for skills accounts and the adult advancement and careers service. This is available at: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/corporate/docs/f/10-648-fuelling-potential.pdf
The new service will replace the Careers Advice Service telephone service (formerly learndirect advice) and local nextstep face to face services, by creating a single, national service available online, by telephone, or face to face. Each individual will have their own skills account to access online tools and manage their own learning.
The service will include offering:
- a personal skills assessment, with the aid of online tools as necessary, to diagnose individual need;
- access to up to date information on courses, and links to wider information, for example on informal adult learning opportunities;
- more detailed careers information and advice, such as information about the qualifications and skills required for roles, advice on funding options, advice on returning to work, and advice on childcare;
- identification of personal goals and targets;
- a skills and career action plan, drawing on skills assessment, that is agreed by the customer and focuses on progress and outcomes in the short-, medium- and longer-term.
These objectives can be supported via the use of Adult Directions and Careerscape. Many nextstep advisers already use the online careers guidance tools to support their current work. It seems that the range of CASCAiD online tools will also help achieve the goals of the new service.
The current nextstep services are delivered through 10 contractors covering England. From 1 August 2010, the Skills Funding Agency will be managing up to 12 contracts for the adult advancement and careers service face to face channel.
There will be a number of key milestones in the lead up to the launch of this new service (see the table at the end of the aforementioned document). Watch this space for further news!