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Where next for careers guidance and education?

The Education and Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah spoke at the Westminster Employment Forum about the government’s vision for career education…

s216_Sam_Gyimah3It’s a real pleasure for me to be here today.

I am here because, like you, I am passionate about transforming the life chances of young people across our country, and making sure they all get a fair shot.

And I am pleased that my presence here today reflects the Department for Education’s renewed interest in careers, which has not always been constant in the past. I want to stress that careers is a key priority for the Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan, and I am delighted to be the minister leading on this area.

Because young people need to understand the costs and benefits of different options and have the knowledge to make the right choices for themselves, based on a real understanding of their own talents, skills and interests.

To get young people to the stage where they can take such a long-term, considered view about their futures – and not opt for the most immediate and easily available choice – takes a long-term and concerted effort from all the individuals and organisations who interact with them.

You’ve had the opportunity today to hear from a range of excellent speakers on how to do just that – to deliver a high-quality, inspirational programme of careers education and guidance that will support every young person to take control of their own future and to make the most of their abilities.

Our strategy and vision

I recently spoke at the Careers Education and Guidance Summit, where I outlined the Department for Education’s plan to publish a comprehensive careers strategy in the coming weeks.

This strategy will ensure that teachers, careers professionals and employers know what the department expects of them.

And, equally, that parents and pupils know what they can expect from their schools.

We feel that a period of consistency and stability for this sector will have greater impact than major structural reform. And what you can expect to see over the coming weeks and months is consistent and clear messages coming from government about the importance of good careers education and guidance, and the expectation that this is an integral part of what good schools do.

We want to create a system that connects schools to the world of work and enables young people to make informed choices about their futures. Because one young person on the wrong early career path, who as a result is not able to fulfil their true potential, is one too many.

By 2020 we want a system where young people (and their parents/carers) have timely access to the information and data they need to make informed decisions on their education, training and employment options, including a clear understanding of routes into technical and professional education and apprenticeships.

A system where all schools provide consistently high-quality careers support, in line with their statutory obligations, including more employer engagement and work experience opportunities. And this does not have to be traditional work experience, where young people risk spending a week or 2 in an office making tea and running errands. The best schools are increasingly making use of work insight days, work experience that runs for one afternoon a week over a whole year, or employers coming into schools to run lessons that link directly to the curriculum.

A system where employers work closely with schools to shape their approach to careers support and their provision of this.

And where careers providers deliver high-quality, independent and impartial advice and guidance as part of a multi-faceted, integrated careers strategy.

Together, this will ensure that every young person – regardless of their background – has the information, exposure and support to make the right choices, and to fulfil their potential. […]


To read more from The Education and Childcare Minister’s speech, please click here.

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