Update on the situation with the UK careers service

Just in case you’ve lost track of where things are up to in relation to the new UK All-Age Careers Service you might be interested to see Tony Watt’s letter in the TES. The upshot of it all is that careers advice for young people is about to be scrapped altogether by the government. This will effectively make a nonsense of the claim that we have an “all-age” careers service.



  1. It does seem like things are getting increasingly dire and it will be a post code lottery as to whether young people have access a designated service or be reliant on schools buying in support. We know that the majority of schools will not spend money on activities like career guidance. Tony has talked about the development of a market in careers. Is this market development by default i.e. parents will pay for services for your young Johnny in the same way many parents pay for tuition for maths? This would be very difficult to manage and quality assure. It would require registration and license to practice etc… dark days.

  2. I think that the market that the government has in mind is paid for by schools. The big question is whether they will pay. In all likelihood the answer is no unless their are some stronger carrots or sticks to make schools engage with careers education. However as you suggest a possible outcome is that careers ends up being something that a few parents pay for and that the majority of young people have no access to altogether. Quite apart from the issue of fairness and social equity there is also the question as to whether individualising career learning in this way is a good thing. If careers is a purely private good it becomes about gaining competitive advantage over others. If careers is seen in a more social and contextual way it can be about helping us to understand our differences and recognise value across a range of different occupations/careers/life roles.

  3. But don’t you think that is traditional Conservative ideology, individualizing advantage. Having read Ricard Layard’s ‘Is a Happy Society Possible’ he presents that ‘Some years ago, two dreadful placards went up in the Department for Education, eight storey’s high, with the words ???Getting ahead???. This is quite the wrong message to send to our children’.Isn’t education all about advantage. Most of the people I know who are teachers send their children to public school. What sort of a message does that send, ‘state school is fine for your kids but its not good enough for mine’!We all know that schools won’t provide career learning in any way shape or form unless they have to. So carrots and sticks are what will be required. Not sure how we do it as it is increasingly obvious that they don’t care about careers….That could be our campaign slogan though ‘ who cares about careers’?I’ll sign that petition.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s