What policies should a new government adopt on careers? Introducing the five point manifesto

At the weekend I posted a commentary on the Conservative Party’s record on careers. It was not entirely positive. Since then there has been a fair bit of debate on social media discussing the record of the Conservative Party (supporters have been very few in number), but also fairly making the point that the previous Labour government didn’t cover itself in glory in this area either.

As the manifestos emerge I’m going to try and provide a bit more commentary on what they are all promising this time. But for now I wanted to say something about what I’d like to see as a careers policy from the political parties. Last week the Institute of Student Employers (where I’m employed as Chief Research Officer) published its manifesto. This was broader than careers policy and stressed the need for greater employer involvement in higher education, improvements to the apprenticeship and vocational education system, action on diversity, disadvantage and social mobility and the development of an open migration system that would continue to allow workers from across the world to start their careers in the UK. It also made a strong argument for investment in the career education and guidance system in schools.

Focusing in on career education and guidance specifically, I wanted to bring your attention to a new manifesto (they are all the rage) that has been released by the Career Development Institute, Careers England and the International Centre for Guidance Studies. This sets out five policies that we would like to see any incoming government adopt on careers. There are as follows.

  1. Set out and implement a strategy for lifelong career development. 
  1. Start career education earlier. 
  1. Drive forward ‘Gatsby revolution’ that has been started in secondary schools and colleges. 
  1. Place career development at the heart of post-compulsory education. 
  1. Ensure that career development support is available to all young people, including those not in school or college, and to all adults both in work and those out of work.

The full manifesto contains more detail on each of these. Essentially what the manifesto is going is taking the existing, fragmented and under-funded careers system and suggesting ways that it could be made to work. It is a very pragmatic approach that seeks to improve what we have, to realise many of the aspirations that have been set out in previous government documents and stitch together the pieces of the current system into a more coherent whole.

We’d really like to hear people’s thoughts on these proposal and encourage people to spread them far and wide. We’d also really like to hear from organisations that would be willing to write a short statement endorsing this manifesto and from parliamentary candidates of any party who would like to endorse it. Get in touch with me (tristram.hooley@gmail.com) if you are interested in supporting this further.



  1. And whom would they access for support? The CDI Manifesto omits any reference to Career Development Professionals. We play a key role and are stakeholders well placed to inform strategic developments and evaluate its implementation.

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