A campaign for careers

A Campaign for Careers

#CareersCampaign

A campaign for careers: young people within our networks tell us:

They want to know about the world of work

  • Young people tell us that they often do not know about the career opportunities available to them or the routes to careers

They want access to trusted careers information and impartial advice

  • Young people want support to help them work out suitable career pathways

They want to have the skills needed for the world of work

  • Young people tell us that they feel that their education has not prepared them for the world of work

They want to have the opportunities for work

  • Young people tell us that access to employers through work experience, networking and job hunting is not easy and can be a barrier for them

A campaign for careers

Youth Employment UK CIC is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to support all young people into employment. Since 2012 Youth Employment UK has supported a network of tens of thousands of young people aged 16-24 who have faced some barrier from moving between education and employment.

Whilst employment within the UK is on the rise young people have the highest unemployment figures of any demographic. There is a concern that the number of young people NEET and not claiming Jobseeker support is on the rise. These young people are often referred to has “hidden”, in 2016 Impetus PEF reported that 2 million young people will experience some time being NEET and 1.3 million of those will experience 6 months or more NEET.

In 2017 we will begin to see significant changes in the education, employment and welfare systems. Funding pressures will also have an impact on services. The government intends for these changes to improve social mobility and support more young people, particularly those most disadvantaged. However, there is a risk that in the time it takes to implement and see the benefit of these changes young people may fall through the net of opportunity and support.

Within the scope of our work we talk to young people about their particular challenges and needs. We use the information that is provided to us through surveys, case studies, Ambassador and Community Member networks to inform our policy recommendations to government. Youth Employment UK believes that the only way to develop comprehensive and value for money services for young people is by having young people influence, shape and lead on the design and implementation of  government-funded services aimed at them.

As part of our work as the Secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Youth Employment, we have conducted a survey for 16-24 year olds asking them to share the recent challenges they have faced when moving between education and employment. The young people who have completed the survey have highlighted a number of key challenges. Many of them reflect the same challenges recorded in another survey by Youth Employment UK in 2015.

A significant number of young people highlight the lack of careers information, guidance and work skills as a major barrier for them. Community Members of Youth Employment UK have also contributed to the APPG inquiry and many of the responses highlight the lack of clear and meaningful careers education policy as being a key youth employment challenge.

This new campaign has been brought together by Youth Employment UK Members and aims to provide clear recommendations for a 21st century careers policy for government consideration. The recommendations come direct from young people and the organisations that support them including: education, training providers, youth organisations, charities and employers.

What do young people want?

Most initiatives and products are made for young people with little input from them, – for years industry has told us what is wrong with the service or ‘wrong’ with young people’s knowledge, attitudes and skills. Youth Employment UK has taken the time to understand from young people what it is that they feel is missing from the services available to them and what they would like to see of future services.

Young people within our networks tell us:

They want to know about the world of work

  • Young people tell us that they often do not know about the career opportunities available to them or the routes to careers

They want access to trusted careers information and impartial advice

  • Young people want support to help them work out suitable career pathways

They want to have the skills needed for the world of work

  • Young people tell us that they feel that their education has not prepared them for the world of work

They want to have the opportunities for work

  • Young people tell us that access to employers through work experience, networking and job hunting is not easy and can be a barrier for them

We believe these are fair requests and that they should form an entitlement for every young person to have ‘a careers offer’ that they understand. These requests have been made of government, education and employers for many years, yet still the system is not working for all young people. Many careers initiatives have come and gone, some creating good quality impacts, others creating confusion and duplication of efforts at a local level.  A central government unifying careers strategy is absent and this generation of young people are seriously missing out on important life chances.

Recommendations

To achieve this Youth Employment UK recommends:

Nationally

  • To create an all-age careers strategy that supports all young people in England from primary through to secondary and college education. We would expect this strategy to link to the government’s social mobility and industrial strategy. The all-age careers strategy must place a clear duty on all schools and colleges to ensure every young person has the skills and information that they need to progress and be successful.
  • Creation of a national advisory body such as an Institute for Careers to help oversee the implementation of the national careers strategy and to monitor progress. The role of the Institute should be to provide vital advisory support between Ministers and officials from government departments who each have careers initiatives targeted at young people, parents, teachers, governors and employers. Its main role is to bring coherence to a fragmented landscape. National companies would immediately know where to go to as a first port of call to strengthen and communicate opportunities for young people. The Institute for Careers could support the scalability of good and interesting careers policies and practices moving beyond current diffuse and incoherent arrangements e.g. National Careers Service – Inspiration Agenda, Careers and Enterprise Company, DWP Jobcentre Plus, Educational Business Partnerships, Business in the Community, Local Authority Traded Service etc
  • Create a ‘Youth Voice Board’ where young people are instrumental in the design and quality assurance of the national careers strategy and implementation.
  • Create a framework for career learning that becomes the blueprint for each school to ensure that pupils develop key skills needed for successful progress and career management e.g. London Ambitions Careers Curriculum
  • Create a nationally recognised central digital platform that young people can use to build up their skill profiles, apply for opportunities and work experience, access careers information and guidance and also signpost to external opportunities. There is potential to link more closely UCAS and Apprenticeship matching services.
  • Ofsted to ensure that quality provision is being delivered to all young people and have authority to take action on behalf of government where this is not the case.

Primary

There is an excellent opportunity within primary school settings to inspire students about the world of work and use this opportunity to challenge stereotypes and some of the issues of social mobility.

  • Create statutory guidance that each primary school should have an “Aspirations Leader”, – this person should coordinate links with parents and employers and share opportunities to embed careers learning within curriculum topics. The Aspirations Leader should have access to the Framework for Career Learning so that a common approach to skill development can be used.
  • Provide Aspiration Leaders with training and a “toolkit” on careers theory and practice as well as  external opportunities,  with employers/employees/volunteers who can visit schools and provide talks and taster experiences etc. Support should include STEM resources and links to inspirational opportunities for young students e.g. the Education and Employers Taskforce ‘Inspiring Primary’ initiative.. This approach will bring together the plethora of good programmes already in existence. Utilise local employers/employees, governors and parents to provide talks and opportunities for more young people to engage with the world of work

Secondary

During secondary education young people should be able to access support at key-decision making points in their lives. Young people should also have the confidence to know they will leave mainstream education having had exposure to and experience of the world of work

  • Consult on and enact new, clearer legislation that sets out clear minimum expectation for schools including; quality work experience for all pupils, access to a trained and professionally qualified careers adviser, number of career learning hours all students should experience, key roles and responsibilities for staff and governors and a clear set of outcomes for students.
  • Each secondary school should have a ‘Careers Leader’ at a senior level, either the headteacher or governor with responsibility for careers. This person would be responsible for monitoring the school careers strategy and its impact. A careers co-ordinator should be responsible for links with employers and share opportunities to embed careers learning within curriculum topics. The Aspirations Leader should have access to a Careers Curriculum Framework so that inputs can be linked to learning outcomes and destinations
  • Careers clusters at a local level which bring together education, employers and careers professionals should operate across the UK shaping a local careers offer for every young person as part of newly devolved funding arrangements
  • Every secondary school should have a careers policy that is highly visible on their website, including destination data for all schools and a governor with responsibility for keeping the spotlight on careers

Youth Employment UK recognises that there is much good practice in some schools and with many organisations who support teachers and young people. We urge that a future careers strategy does not try to reinvent the wheel but better acknowledge the local careers offers already in place through partnerships and ensure that all schools have the means and clarity to support every student. Barriers that schools face in providing careers education, information, advice and guidance such as curriculum and financial pressures should not be ignored.

Actions

  1. Youth Employment UK will be sharing the campaign with its Members and asking them to write to their MP to call on the Department for Education to create a careers strategy that works for young people. Download a template letter here: CareersCampaignLettertoMP, you can find out who your MP is and their contact details here.  
  2. Organisaitons wishing to be support our campaign can send us their logos to add to our supporters page.
  3. People will be able to share their support by using #CareersCampaign on Twitter.
  4. Youth Employment UK will share the recommendations with relevant Ministers and Civil Servants.

About Youth Employment UK

Youth Employment UK is a not-for-profit social enterprise that was set up in 2012 with the aim of tackling youth unemployment. Youth Employment UK works in three key ways:

  • To give young people a voice and empower them to be more prepared for the world of work
  • Employers are better equipped to support young people and adopt Youth Friendly Principles
  • Government policy is geared towards the real needs of young people

Youth Employment UK provides a free Young Professional Membership to all 16-24 year olds and support to organisations who are invested in youth employment.

The team at Youth Employment UK have over 30 years experience in the careers, training and recruitment space. Laura-Jane Rawlings Founder and CEO of Youth Employment UK has led projects directly with schools and colleges, and worked with external organisations such as DWP, DfE, Plotr, The CDI, PiXL, National Citizen Service and a number of employer-led campaigns. Bringing together this extensive expertise and unique insight that sits across all of the stakeholders involved in careers and youth employment.

For further information: Contact us by phone on 01536 680916 or email us at info@youthemployment.org.uk

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