Have you found the careers advice provided at school helpful?

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The Education, Skills and the Economy Sub-Committee has launched an inquiry looking at careers advice, information and guidance. This inquiry is set to look at issues such as the quality of current careers advice, the effectiveness of careers advice in supporting people into apprenticeships, and how careers advice in schools and college can help match skills with the needs of the jobs market.

The Committee would like to hear your thoughts and experiences to help inform the work of Parliament and scrutinise the work of the Government.

Key Questions
  • What do you use as your main source of careers advice (for example parents, teachers/lecturers, school careers advisers, websites, other sources)?
  • Did you receive careers advice at your school or college? Did they outline the range of career options open to you?
  • How do you think the advice matched your interests and skills?How would you rate the careers advice, information and guidance you have been given by your school or college? How could it be improved?
  • Do you use any websites to help you find information about careers? If so, which ones? How useful are they?
  • Do you think you have been given enough information about the careers options available to you? What more information would help you?
  • Have you thought about becoming an apprentice? Do you think there is enough guidance available on what apprenticeships involve and how to become an apprentice?
  • Would you like to see businesses and employers play a greater role in careers advice, information and guidance? Are there enough opportunities for young people to hear from employers about what careers involve?
Submit your comments

You can share your comments in this thread which will be provided to the Committee. You can also send in a formal submission through the Committee's evidence portal.

Committee Evidence portal

The deadline for submission is 20 January.
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On Monday 8 February from 4.15pm, the House of Commons Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy will hear from experts and representatives of the education and business sectors as part of its inquiry into careers advice, information and guidance.

The session will investigate the current provision of careers advice, information and guidance, and how it can be improved.

Issues likely to be covered include:
  • the quality of careers guidance in schools and colleges
  • making students aware of apprenticeship opportunities
  • links between schools and employers
  • the relationship between careers guidance and the labour market
At 4.15pm
  • Professor Louise Archer, Director, ASPIRES 2 Project, King’s College London
  • Professor Ann Hodgson, Co-Director, Centre for Post-14 Education and Work, University College, London
  • Professor Sir John Holman, Gatsby Foundation
  • Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Principal Research Fellow, University of Warwick
At 5.05pm
  • Dr Mary Bousted, General Secretary, Association of Teachers and Lecturers
  • Sian Carr, Vice President, Association and School and College Leaders, and Executive Principal, Skinners’ Kent Academy, Tunbridge Wells
  • Martin Doel OBE, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges
  • Marcus Mason, Head of Business, Education and Skills, British Chambers of Commerce
Watch the session in full on Parliament TV.

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The Sub-Committee on Education, Skills has published its report on 'Careers education, information, advice and guidance'. The Committee concluded in its report that inadequate careers guidance in many English schools is exacerbating skills shortages and having a negative impact on the country’s productivity.

Read the 'Careers education, information, advice and guidance' report in full

Committee Recommendations
The Sub-Committee urges the Government to incentivise schools to improve, which includes Ofsted downgrading those where careers provision is sub-standard.

The Government must also untangle the unruly and complex web of organisations, service providers and websites overseeing and offering careers advice and put a single Minister in charge of provision, the report states.

The report is the first to be published by the Sub-Committee, which was formed last year by the Business, Innovation and Skills and Education Committees.

Report findings
The Sub-Committee found that too many young people are leaving education without having had the chance to fully consider their future options or how their skills and experiences fit with opportunities in the jobs market.

It also judged that a host of policy changes, initiatives and new bodies introduced in recent years have failed to make serious improvements and in some cases have even been counter-productive.

Chairs' comments

Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Committee and Co-Chair:

"At a time when it is vital we equip young people with the right skills for their working lives, it’s concerning that so many are being failed by the guidance they receive.

Careers advice should be a core part of a young person’s schooling but at the moment it is little more than a poorly thought out add-on. Schools should be incentivised to treat careers education, advice, information and guidance as a priority.

The Committee recommends Ofsted plays a bigger role in ensuring careers guidance is up to scratch by downgrading those who do not deliver high quality provision. A school should not be graded as 'good' if its careers provision is inadequate."

Iain Wright, Chair of the Business, Innovation, and Skills Committee and Co-Chair of the ESE Sub-Committee, said:

"The world of business and work is changing rapidly. There is huge choice in the career paths young people could embark upon and rapid change also means that there will be opportunities for jobs and professions in new and emerging industries.

In this context, young people and their parents need the best possible and clear guidance to inform their choices and decisions. Yet Initiative after initiative has rained down from Government in recent years with regards to careers guidance, creating a confusing and costly mess when what we really need is a clear picture.

With the skills gap widening, it is essential that young people are well-informed about the experiences, qualifications and training they need to pursue their chosen careers and that the guidance they are given is grounded in accurate information about the jobs market."

What areas should the Government's strategy focus on?

The Sub-Committee welcomes the Government’s intention to soon publish its careers strategy and argues that it is a timely opportunity to finally get careers provision right.

The report, which covers schools in England, identifies a number of areas the strategy should focus on:
  • Providing incentives for schools to improve their careers provision and mechanisms for holding to account those that fail to do so
  • Taking steps to untangle the complex web of national organisations and to create efficiencies by bringing funding streams into line
  • Bringing greater coherence to the unruly market of organisations and websites offering careers information, advice and guidance services
  • Ensuring advice and guidance is grounded in accurate information about the labour market
  • Giving young people the opportunity to understand better the world of work, through encounters with employers and meaningful work experience opportunities
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(Original post by Official House of Commons)
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  • What do you use as your main source of careers advice (for example parents, teachers/lecturers, school careers advisers, websites, other sources)?


Main source: professionals I've networked with through events/LinkedIn, friends currently in university and their networks, online specifically geared career discussion boards, careers websites, careers books


  • Did you receive careers advice at your school or college? Did they outline the range of career options open to you?


I had 1 meeting in school about careers options, it was a mostly pointless meeting and didn't help me shape any of my career aims. My school being firmly in the heart of the UK oil capital (Aberdeen), focused its efforts on bringing in oil&gas companies and engineering firms; as such much of the advice was based around careers within those industries and little else.

Another point about my school's career service is they're very encouraging about either a) getting an apprenticeship or b) going to university. Rarely if ever were career paths post university discussed.


  • How do you think the advice matched your interests and skills?How would you rate the careers advice, information and guidance you have been given by your school or college? How could it be improved?


It didn't match my interests at all, there was no guidance about careers in technology, finance, law etc which are my main areas of interest.

On a scale of 1-10, about 4/5

- Cater to a greater range of students by bringing in professionals from across industries and the country (i.e. London)
- Hire people with a more diversified and successful background of giving careers advice
- Run skills sessions that unlock what areas students may find interesting
- Focus more on post-university career paths; most students are only aware of vocational degree paths like Engineering, Law and Medicine


  • Do you use any websites to help you find information about careers? If so, which ones? How useful are they?


Many:
WallStreetOasis
StudentLadder
AllAboutCareers
TargetCareers
InsideCareers
The Gateway
Mergers and Inquisitions
ManagementConsulted
eFinancialCareers
Reddit: r/cscareerquestions, r/consulting
Quora

Extremely useful and have contributed to me learning a lot about careers I never even knew existed when I started secondary school.


  • Do you think you have been given enough information about the careers options available to you? What more information would help you?


By careers advisors and family? No

Through my own research and networking? Yes, absolutely, to the point where I try to help others with careers advice now

If I were to need any information, it would have to be about career progression in various carious and tips on how one can be successful within their career of interest.


  • Have you thought about becoming an apprentice? Do you think there is enough guidance available on what apprenticeships involve and how to become an apprentice?


Nope, doesn't interest me in the slightest.

At my school, the apprenticeship route was marketed more towards those who preferred 'hands on' careers (i.e. plumber, carpenter, etc) rather than to those who preferred academic/problem solving routes.

Generally though, I feel in England there is a distinct lack of information about apprenticeships and too much of a drive to go to university

  • Would you like to see businesses and employers play a greater role in careers advice, information and guidance? Are there enough opportunities for young people to hear from employers about what careers involve?


Yes, more businesses should form partnerships with schools and colleges.

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Yammy
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  • "Providing incentives for schools to improve their careers provision and mechanisms for holding to account those that fail to do so. "
and
  • Giving young people the opportunity to understand better the world of work, through encounters with employers and meaningful work experience opportunities
I agree with, especially since schools don't really mention the variety of careers/and employers beyond the conventional.
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