I attended the launch today of yet another report critical of aspects of careers advice provision in English schools.
Last week I blogged about the latest Ofsted report on its thematic review of careers advice in schools, pointing out the importance of parents and the social mobility agenda, and hoping for a positive Government response. There was perhaps a chink of light visible in the gloom, but not enough to make you feel safe from the storm.
Today’s report, ‘ A Cloudy Horizon: Career Services in England’, was authored by Louis Coiffait of the Pearson Think Tank and he was accompanied at the launch by Graham Stuart MP, chair of the Commons Education Select Committee and Rob Wall, Head of Education and Employment Policy at the Confederation of British Industry. All spoke convincingly about the evidence, issues and need for policy remedies. You should read the report to find out more.
I was personally very pleased that the report emphasised the need for a more strategic approach between schools, colleges, employers, universities and careers brokers at the local level, but connected to regional and national levels. This chimes well with my own business’s push on localised strategic education partnerships or LSEPs.
I also liked the suggestion that we emulate the Belgians and give vouchers to every individual to cash in on timely careers-related provision – you could have a few while still studying and then some when seeking or starting work. If these vouchers were collectively sponsored by a group of local employers, with some taxpayer subsidy, it might make funding less painful for public purses in hard times. Assuming the associated ‘offer’ is done to a high quality standard and focused on work placements/trials/training, the future workforce could be:
a) better prepared for the unique types of employment offered at SMEs;
b) more likely to consider careers with local employers, rather than disappear off to large cities or distant lands;
c) encouraged to be more entrepreneurial in their outlook, sowing the seeds of badly needed spin-offs for innovation and future economic growth.
Time to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.