A YEUK Youth Ambassadors view of #CareersEd

YEUK Youth Ambassadors in Parliament
YEUK Youth Ambassadors in Parliament

Changing the game on #CareersEd By YEUK Youth Ambassador Jack:

It has been a rocky period for the government in recent weeks over the quality and method of provision of careers education across schools and colleges. We have seen in the News the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan’s difficult questioning by the Education Committee over the changes which had placed individual schools responsible for providing their own careers education provision, with no apparent accountability for those who give young people insufficient guidance.

It was appropriate for YEUK to take on this subject as one of its Parliament debates and to respond with a report published by the team based on young people’s experiences of careers education while they were in education. The event was held for Organisational Members of YEUK to debate the challenges arising in this area and what future steps will be taken to improve the situation. Chaired by YEUK Young Ambassador, Michael Tran and hosted by Corby and East Northamptonshire, Andy Sawford MP.

Young people were encouraged to tweet their questions pre and during the event, to the @YEUKYouth Twitter account using #CareersEd, to which YEUK had an excellent response from both young people and organisations who shared their concerns on the issue. One of the first topics raised asked “if it was the investment in careers that was inadequate”. This was also repeated by a number of guests present on the day. The response to this from, panel members was “that more money being invested was not the whole answer”and that “better leadership and coordination were necessary for schools in order to get the best out of their services and needed to treat their students as consumers”. in addition to this “Businesses themselves needed incentive to come and provide specialist advice and support in this arena”.

Other issues revolved around skills and that young people faced barriers when applying for jobs what with having “insufficient experience” it was highlighted that “students need to receive unbiased and comprehensive information on opportunities besides academic pathways, like university”. As one of our guests, Greg Thompson, tweeted during the debate “Children need to be taught as young as possible about their options. 100% agree with this, education is not just academic.”

One panelist Kate Shoesmith, of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) commented, it is more ‘difficult’ to find the right candidates in a number of skilled vocations. However, it was argued employers too needed to make an effort in evaluating some of their requirements.

YEUK Younth Ambassador, Alexa-Jane, 23 from Worcester is currently undertaking her NVQ 4 in Impartial Advise and Guidance (IAG) who couldn’t attend on the day Tweeted asking “Why do they not create statutory requirements for careers guidance” Chris Brockhurst Policy Team Leader at DfE responded “There is high level guidance and this was viewed to have too much requirements, that the Education Dept are looking to re-write these requirements and that OFSTED already have a mandate”. However a within that damning report way back in 2013, out of a high proportion of visits Ofsted made that year only 20% of  schools that were visited were said to be ‘very good’, with the rest having to make improvements in their efforts. What is the direction of DfE if the mandate that Ofsted are using isn’t recognised and used to address issues concerning careers education.

YEUK Youth Ambassador Jenny who attended on the day shared with the panel a passionate observation based on her own experiences whilst she has been seeking a permanent job since her graduation in 2014, that she was only now beginning to discover what she wants to achieve and that was to work with young people, but much later than it could have possibly been if good careers advice had been more comprehensive throughout her time in education, she would not have needed that degree.

Hear what the Ambassador Team had to say!

Laura-Jane CEO of YEUK shared her thoughts of the day HERE

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