Education Committee Inquiry into Careers Guidance for Young People

First published on Thu, January 24, 2013.

The Education Act 2011 introduced a statutory duty on schools in England to secure access to independent, impartial careers guidance for their pupils in years 9–11. This paper is the result of an inquiry - to which Creative & Cultural Skills submitted written evidence - held by the Education Committee to determine how schools were responding to their new duty.

The Committee describe the Government's decision to devolve responsibility for careers guidance to schools as "regrettable" and have voiced concerns about "the consistency, quality, independence and impartiality of careers guidance now being offered to young people".

As the current funding scenario is unlikely to change, the Committee recommend schools are made more accountable to encourage them to provide guidance which meets the needs of students. The role of the National Careers Service should also be enhanced, and to this end should be provided with additional funding.


  • The Government could do more to promote consistency in the offer to young people through central guidance. Schools and Local Authorities should be offered guidance on how to form local partnerships and consortia, and be strongly encouraged to do so. 
  • Schools should publish an annual careers plan, and this plan should also set out resources allocated to careers and guidance activities.
  • The role of the National Careers Service should be expanded to include assisting schools in designing their annual careers plan, disseminating local Labour Market Information and promoting quality standards. 
  • If careers guidance is to be delivered to a good standard, schools must be incentivised through robust accountability measures.
  • The National Apprenticeship Service should take greater responsibility for promoting apprenticeships in schools. 
  • As teachers are now responsible for providing careers advice, they should undertake regular professional development to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the work place. The National Careers Service could be invaluable in facilitating this at a local level.

The full consultation can be read on the Education Committee website

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