Earlier this week we attended the CDI conference where the Minister launched the long awaited careers strategy. Whilst CASCAID welcomes the paper and sees it as a positive step towards building a better careers system for individuals, we feel that it does not quite go far enough to ensure consistent provision for all.
Focused around four key elements, the strategy sets out the Government’s vision for a partnership between education, industry, policy and providers to bring together various elements of the sector and raise the quality of career development for all.
If you missed it, the key elements of the careers strategy were:
1. Inspiring encounters with further and higher education, and with employers and workplaces
Referencing some great schemes already in place, as well as the Careers and Enterprise Company’s work, the paper makes the issue of employer encounters at school a priority, thereby ensuring that young people know and fully understand the range of opportunities available to them. Whilst we totally agree that quality employer encounters can assist young people in their career choices, we have some concerns with the emphasis of this, and the need for professional career guidance in school too. Access to professional career guidance must underpin the strategy in its entirety.
2. Excellent advice and guidance programmes
We are pleased to see that the Gatsby Benchmarks are central to the careers strategy in schools. These are evidence-based and cover the full range of careers education and we know that many educators are already doing great work towards ensuring these are met within their school. We do however believe that some schools may need further support in ensuring they meet each of the 8 benchmarks, given the existing pressures on schools and increasing financial pressures. We look forward to hearing more guidance about the career hubs and careers leaders in schools which should be published in January.
3. Support and guidance tailored to individual needs
Personalised guidance should be at the heart of all careers education programmes and we therefore welcome the government’s support of the CDI professional register and enhancements to the National Careers Service. However, it is a shame to see that no additional funding will be given to schools to ensure that young people are targeted when they need it most, and that schools will have to continue to source external guidance support from an already shrinking pot of money.
4. Using data and technology to help everyone make choices about careers
CASCAID has always believed that technology and data have the capability to transform the way that individuals explore and plan their future and we are at the heart of innovation in this space. We believe that technology is an enabler for change and does encourage all stakeholders to play an active role in their own personal development.
The Government’s full career strategy can be viewed on their website.
CASCAID has worked with educators and adult guidance organisations for nearly 50 years and we regularly hear from our clients that more and more pressures are being put on them to support their students and clients with limited funding across the board.
In schools, careers education, information, advice and guidance should be core and we welcome the government’s review of this alongside other elements of the PSHE curriculum.
CASCAID works in the UK to deliver digital careers services that support individuals to understand themselves explore their options and develop plans. We do this globally too in partnership with national governments and careers service providers.
Through our international programmes, we see a range of national careers services delivered in different contexts but all with a common goal. To support individuals into meaningful and sustainable work.
If we are to truly deliver a world-class careers system in England, we need to be continuing to build on existing programmes, technology and on the services that are already delivering positive outcomes to young people.