The latest report from Labour’s Policy Review makes interesting reading in the light of recent policy from the Coalition. Entitled Qualifications matter: improving the curriculum and assessment for all it contains a lengthy section on careers work. This includes the following paragraphs.
In our work we have been struck by the massive unanimity around the importance of Information, Advice and Guidance. The consensus is overwhelming: good, effective, independent advice and guidance is essential. OECD reaches the same view, and goes further. Their argument is that given the massive complexity of the contemporary labour market, no upper secondary system can be truly effective without an independent advice and guidance function, staffed by appropriately trained professionals.
There is good evidence that employers can play a strong role in careers advice – City and Guilds found that 88 per cent of 16-19 year olds believed that employers were the most useful source of careers advice, and there is every reason to suppose that technology can supplement good careers advice. However, none of this should detract from the core issue: that high quality, independent careers advice by appropriately trained professionals is critical in helping young people, and particularly those at risk, in negotiating the transition from education to work.
This is clearly very welcome and would be very nice if it made it into a Labour manifesto. There are also some areas that needs some further thinking including locating the responsibility for careers provision with the LEPs and a proposal that seems to fine schools for high LEP levels. Nonetheless this does suggest that there is some serious policy thinking going on in the Labour camp.