Are Traditional Careers Advisors Extinct? Youth Voice

Careers advisors

This article was provided by Youth Ambassador, Patrick Cantellow

Okay, maybe a clickbait title to get your attention, but the varying opinions on the future of Careers Advisors means something isn't right.

That's why at the latest Skills Show at the Birmingham NEC, I went along to the Youth Summit with Youth Employment UK to discuss just that.

Debate Mate, a fantastic organisation that facilitates the development of young people through debating across the UK, led a debate on the motion:

This house believes that traditional careers advice is no longer relevant to young people and the future of work

I had the pleasure of sitting on the Proposition team, which initially had 95% of the audience in favour. However, things took a turn, and after the debate, it ended up being the opposition who won, with just over half the vote.

Traditional Careers Advice Can't Keep Up With The Fluid, Modern Labour Market VS Traditional Careers Advisers Have Experience and Can Compute Information Better

The argument for is that the jobs young people can do and will do in the future are rapidly changing, so much so, that it's becoming difficult to predict which jobs will be available making it difficult for traditional careers advisors support young people. A recent Opinium survey says that 'Half of young adults find the amount of information about jobs overwhelming', so young people should be allowed to find their niche using more modern careers advice on digital platforms.

The opposing team argued that traditional careers advisers have experience in guiding young people in their quest to the world of work. The same survey also highlighted that 'Four in five feel supported to make decisions for the future that will lead to an interesting career'. Therefore, careers advisers should begin to share insight into the place of work,  not just the industry or type of work.

Traditional Careers Advisers Aren't As Good at Accessing the Young VS Traditional Careers Advice is More Accessible for Everyone

My team made the argument that it's 2017,  we're in digital age, and it's vital that all forms of education and training for young people embrace the new. Although, we still identified a need for more person to person interaction, but argued that it's hard to find your careers advisor in many schools, and when you do, it's often 30 minutes when best for them. You may not even be ready to talk to an advisor just yet, or you may want regular visits!

The opposing team's argument were for those who do not have internet access, and that we should ensure young people are not left behind in the digital age. Also careers advisors could help young people make sense of and verify the many sources and ‘facts’ about careers.

Traditional Careers Advice can Reinforce Stereotypes VS Traditional Careers Advisors are Verified Trusted Sources

On the last argument, we believed that traditional careers advice can play into stereotypes. Males are more likely to be pushed to STEM-related careers, and females are more likely to consider jobs involving caring for others, for example. There is also the bias of University, and the inability for many careers advisors to consider Apprenticeships as a route for young people.

The opposition said that careers advisors are verified and trusted sources, who care about your prospects. When careers advisors get the time and support to work with young people individually they can help them make decisions.

The Skills Show Youth Smitt showed the power of debate, and I, and by the looks of things, many others too, learnt a great deal!


One of the big outcomes of the day was the recognition that careers advisors aren't the problem but the time resources and 'traditional' nature of having 10 - 30 minutes once in your school life was not going to be sufficient for a changing world and workforce. It was recognised that with so much information available guidance and support was needed from careers advisors, parents, teachers and employers too.

Next steps:

  • Visit our free and impartial careers hub to explore what careers might be relevant to you!
  • Whatever the future holds for you we do know that employers are looking for young people with skills, join our free Young Professional Membership and start growing your skills today!
  • Find out more about the Talent Match Mark and how it can recognise you as a youth friendly employer
  • Find out more about the Skills Show, register your interest for 2018 and explore becoming a volunteer here

Further Information

Find out more about this topic by calling us on 01536 680916
or emailing us at

Aged 14-24?

Want to build your work skills? Explore careers. Read up on your life choices. Get free Young Professional training to boost your skills and confidence. And you can volunteer with us as a Youth Ambassador too!

Take the next step to build your life and work confidence


Want to become more youth-friendly? Your organisation can join as a Community Member and apply for the Talent Match Mark Award to access youth employment best practice resources and support. Join a wide network and invest in a bright employment future for young people.

Find out more Apply for Talent Match Mark Awards

Leave a Reply

Latest Articles

See more

March: Latest Labour Market Statistics

The latest ONS data shows the employment rate at 75.3%, higher than for a year earlier (74.6%). The data available […]

The Role of Family in Social Mobility

We are proud to launch our report in to the role of the family in social mobility today. In partnership […]

Dormant accounts for youth programme

The government have today launched their statement of intent for the dormant accounts youth programme. It sets out the purpose […]


The National minimum and living wage changes on 1st April – are you ready?! The Government have launched the Check […]