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CDI Welcome Government's new careers strategy

Posted By Career Development Institute, 10 December 2017

The Career Development Institute welcomes the Government’s new careers strategy but is disappointed about the lack of support for impartial careers guidance

Two years ago the then Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, acknowledged that
the school-based approach to careers guidance was not working effectively for all young
people and announced that the Government would be publishing a strategy for improving
careers guidance in schools. In January of this year the Government re-stated its intention to
publish a comprehensive careers strategy later in the year. The Minister now responsible for
careers, Anne Milton, launched the long awaited strategy today at the CDI’s annual
conference in Solihull.

The CDI is pleased to see that the strategy picks up several of the points that we have been
recommending. It sets out a ‘platform for change’ that should lead to significant
improvements in careers education and guidance in schools. The strategy endorses fully the
eight benchmarks of good practice developed by the Gatsby Foundation and provides
funding to extend the current successful pilot in the North East to twenty more areas of the
country. This should help us move towards the CDI’s goal of funded support across the
whole of England.

CDI President, Virginia Isaac said: “The CDI has been arguing for some time that the schoolbased
model, introduced five years ago, requires strong leadership from within the school,
as well as support from outside. We are pleased, therefore, to see that the strategy
promotes the idea that all schools and colleges should appoint a careers leader, and we
welcome the £4million that is to be made available for training for this key role.”
The strategy also includes refreshing support for young people with special educational
needs and disabilities, and we are particularly pleased to see the announcement of projects
to develop best practice in learning about work and careers in primary schools.

All these changes are welcome but we should not forget that the statutory duty placed on
schools is to secure access to independent, impartial careers guidance, and we know that
the Government recognises that the current provision is patchy and inconsistent. As the
professional body for everyone working in the field of career development, we are also
acutely aware that the number of qualified careers advisers has fallen significantly in recent
years, as a direct result of schools not buying in services at the levels that were available to
young people from the Connexions service, before responsibility was transferred to
individual schools.

We are disappointed that although the Minister talked about the importance of
personalised career guidance in her conference speech, the new strategy does not include
any specific measures to ensure greater consistency or investment in the level 6 route or the
level 7, Qualification in Career Development, so that that all young people benefit from
personal guidance from a professionally qualified careers adviser. We will continue to press
the Government on the need for such action. The tailored advice at the heart of the new
strategy, cannot be delivered by teachers and employers alone. Both teachers and
employers have vital roles to play, and it is the job of the careers leader to harness their
contributions, but these must be complemented by access to informed and impartial
careers advice and guidance from a qualified careers adviser.

Much of the strategy is focussed on careers education and guidance in schools. We remain
concerned about access to careers guidance for young people who, for whatever reason,
are not in school. We note also that the strategy pays scant attention to careers guidance
for adults. In this sense the strategy cannot be considered ‘comprehensive’ and we believe
that this can only be achieved by introducing the all-age careers guidance service
announced by the Coalition Government in November 2010.

Looking ahead, we believe that the strategy represents a significant step in the right
direction and we look forward to continuing to work with the Department for Education,
The Careers & Enterprise Company and the Gatsby Foundation to implement the various
measures. At the same time, we will continue to lobby for further changes to ensure that
each and every young person and adult has access to the good quality careers guidance they
need

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