The National Careers Council (NCC) yesterday published a statement on the government response to “An Aspiration Nation”, which was launched on Wednesday 5 June 2013.
In the statement, Dr Deirdre Hughes, OBE, and Chair, NCC for England says, “Urgent action is needed. Whilst the Council is pleased that the Government has accepted its recommendations it notes the real work lies ahead to support schools, colleges and universities to provide impartial and independent career guidance to students. The Council looks forward to working with Government to ensure the suggested practical steps outlined in the report are implemented.
The ultimate goal is to reduce mismatch and major skills gaps in our economy which necessitates ‘all round’ greater connectivity to the labour market. Achieving improved access to high quality careers guidance should help reduce market failure. The Government has an important responsibility to ensure this current and future generation of young people (and adults) are prepared well to be resilient and adaptable in fast changing education and employment markets.”
As a member of the NCC, the WEA shares concerns about the quality of careers support and advice which is being given to both young people and adults. The face to face element of advice is very important as is better labour market intelligence.
We also need to use inspirational role models to transform careers advice. Many of those role models exist amongst adult learners in our communities as well as amongst employers. It is only those people embedded within communities that can reach the young people and adults who most need careers support. We urgently need to mobilise community role models as well as employers to make government action a success.
One of the achievements of the NCC has been its ability to leverage employer support and we hope this will be developed in the short-term into creating mentoring opportunities as well as visits and work experience programmes. Although we are seeing signs of economic recovery, youth and long-term unemployment remains stubbornly high, so we need an effective careers service if we as a country are going to address structural issues within our economy.