Guest blog -Perhaps careers advisers aren’t so bad after all?


Thanks to Andy Gardner from the Central London Careers Hub for sending me this guest post. In it he discusses some new research that he has done with careers advisers which suggests that there is still a lot of careers work taking place despite the challenges of funding.

Careers Advisers in England have been through a huge social experiment.  Central government in England effectively threw them out of the house, they were no longer invited to the party.  In 2012 the funding ended, to be replaced by some duties which at best could be described as dodgy and effectively meant that if a school did not want to pay for a careers adviser to come into their school then very little was going to happen to them.  In fact some perverse incentives applied, so a school management team worried about their sixth form numbers could think it would be in their interest not to have a Careers Adviser coming in, giving all that pesky impartial guidance.

But has the obvious happened?  Have careers advisers withered away and died?  Clearly many were made redundant, to be replaced by an array of websites, alumni/employer/mentor schemes.  What was for sure was that many careers advisers were now on their own, living the free market dream, whether they were completely independent or working for a traded services careers organisation.  There was enormous collateral damage but now we were trading in the open market.  Only one test now applied, can we survive? And if we are, then we must be supplying something that people want.

Central London Careers Hub (career sector knowledge for career development professionals) needed to find out the reach of the careers advisers coming to our events. So we decided to ask all the surviving careers services and independent careers advisers who had come to CLCH four simple questions:

  1. In the last 3 years how many guidance interventions have you done?
  2. In the last 3 years how many NEET guidance interventions have you done?
  3. In the last 3 years how many group works have you done?
  4. In the last 3 years how many schools or colleges have you worked in?

We asked for the last 3 years data, because this would cover the time when funding for Careers Services in England had been pulled by the DFE to be replaced by a duty which large numbers of schools chose to completely ignore.

Read the report:

Half a million reasons why we still need careers advisers

You will be astonished by how much work is going on, when set against other sources of reliable data.  In fact it reminds us of the comedian Spike Milligan’s comment on his gravestone, “I told you I was ill!”

As we were being destroyed in 2012, careers advisers would say in their understated way, “we are a bit more useful than you think!”  The CLCH report looks at why, when given a chance, careers advisers are a far more relevant force than they are given credit for.


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