29 Sep, 2011

National careers service will continue to neglect young people

New Government Plans Won’t Improve Current Statistics of those who have Received No Career Advice

With the governments plans to create an ‘all ages’ National Careers Service, in conjunction with the new law that schools will have a legal duty to secure independent careers guidance for their students, it appears that they are combatting the statistic that one in four young people has had no career advice.

However, despite this double barrelled approach to improving careers advice there are flaws.  The ‘all ages’ National Careers Service will only provide face-to-face consultations for those over 19 years old, while schools are being given free rein on how to best use their independent careers advisors.

For those leaving school at 16 there will be a three year gap in which they cannot have a face-to-face appointment with a careers advisor, if they have even had one while at school.

The online advice available for under 19’s from the National Careers Service is subsidiary in comparison to in-person advice, which allow careers advisors to get to know young people and offer them tailored advice accordingly.

Ed Mellet, founder of graduate job website, WikiJob, feels that the government need to structure careers advice, saying that “compulsory and regular careers advice sessions in both schools and universities would be the best way to make those at school aware of the world of work and give them a better chance at finding employment once they have left education.”

Mellet adds: “The National Careers Service should offer consultations for young people leaving school at 16, while schools and higher education should have to provide careers advice to students from an early age, rather than leaving it as a blot on the final year of their education.”

In the current financial climate career advice is needed more than ever by school leavers and graduates.  Young people need to be more adaptable to looking for work, with social media and video CVs becoming increasingly more popular in job searching, yet first time job hunters need to be helped by those with experience, in order to allow them to maximise their job applications and employability.

Mellet also notes the “disconnect between school/university leavers and industry,” and comments that, “university is not making graduates more employable – a lack of experience and the nature of the job market means that first choice careers may not be available graduates for the next five or more years.  Young people don’t know what employers want, while careers advice offers something of a solution, the government should be promoting events such as ‘employer open days’ where a group of students is taken to a large employer and shown around, as is becoming popular in the US.  Linking people in education to industry is the best way to prepare them for job hunting.”

WikiJob is the UK’s largest graduate careers website. It was founded in 2007 and serves 4.2 million visitors annually.  Clients include Deustche Bank, Citigroup, Accenture, Deloitte, KPMG, Linklaters, Freshfields and the Financial Services Authority (FSA).  WikiJob regularly provides comment on graduate and employment related matters, and has appeared on BBC News 24 and BBC News at Ten, as well as in The Guardian, The Times and numerous other publications.

Credit: onrec.com

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