Skills minister John Hayes yesterday set out his vision for the first all-age careers service in England.
Both young people aged 13-19 and adults will be able to begin accessing new arrangements for careers guidance from September 2011. The service will be fully operational by April 2012. It will build on the best of Next Step and Connexions and provide a fully joined up service for all age groups for the first time.
John Hayes said:
“Informed learners are empowered learners. The right guidance at the right time not only helps young people and adults to progress in learning, but also increases their confidence and motivation to succeed. Careers guidance is at the heart of increasing social mobility, and a vital part of the machinery of social justice.”
“I have long argued for the creation of an all-age careers service. A unified, consistent service that offers seamless support to young people as they make the transition to adulthood and have a true focus on lifelong learning.”
The all-age careers service will be founded on the core principles of independence and professionalism. Schools will be under a legal duty to secure independent, impartial careers guidance for their students, but will be free to decide how best to support young people to make good careers choices.
In response to recommendations of the Careers Progression Task Force, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education will be working closely with advice professionals, schools and colleges on how best to revitalise the professional status of careers guidance. Options under consideration include introducing a new kite mark to recognise the best career guidance services or establishing a register of providers who meet the highest standards.
John Hayes added:
“Everyone knows that impartial advice is always the best advice. But that independent advice must also be underpinned by professional expertise. I want to re-professionalise the careers service and create an environment in which careers guidance is recognised for the important public good it is, in which young people, adults, schools, colleges, universities and whole communities see its value, use it and invest in it. I am calling on the careers sector in England to rise to the challenge of implementing the new all-age careers service.”
More information can be found in the BIS press release: New all-age careers service to launch in England in 2012.