Careers advice has never been so important. According to an article on the BBC website, careers advice in schools and colleges is deteriorating. A report from the Education Selection Committee calls into question the Government’s decision to make schools responsible for careers advice. It is suggested that careers services have been slipping, despite the fact that good careers guidance is crucial for overcoming problems of youth unemployment.
The BBC quotes Nick Chambers, director of the Education and Employers Taskforce, who said,
There is a massive information gap between the real demands of employers and what young people know and where their aspirations are… The report is right to suggest that far too many young people are having to make vital and incredibly important decisions about their futures without enough access to good information.
See this BBC article from last November for more history on the situation.
As always, the issue is getting the right information to the right people. At such a crucial time, when the economy badly needs a boost, knowledge of the labour market is more important than ever. For a young person who is thinking of entering college, or even just scanning the workforce for a suitable job, the outlook is bleak. And unfortunately, even those institutions that still have career guidance programs are severely limited by a lack of knowledge. There is very little available information on the jobs market that is actually insightful, and there is even less information on how any particular career will connect with any particular real-world job.
Here are three ways that EMSI’s careers guidance tool, Career Coach, works towards solving this problem.
1. Career Coach provides information about the jobs market
A big part of the problem is lack of reliable information. Jobs exist that need to be filled – and they always will. Bedford College provides Career Coach on their website and have seen incredible results. As you can see from the screenshot below, there are plenty of careers in Bedfordshire that are directly related to courses offered at the College.
The problem is knowing what is available and how to get there. Which brings us to the second point…
2. Career Coach helps create a pathway between courses and careers
Built into Career Coach is information about local job openings and statistics about career pathways, including average and median earnings, job growth and yearly openings. Learners are able to connect their courses with careers out in the real world. Not only does this help students find jobs after graduation, it also helps them stay focussed during their enrollment. With a good chance at a well-paying career to look forward to, students perform better.
(To learn more about the importance of creating a ‘Career Vision’, see this article on our US blog.)
3. Career Coach is more than a job-hunting tool
The positive effects of Career Coach don’t stop when students start finding jobs. Career Coach can start a conversation between colleges, local businesses and investors. It puts everyone on the same page so that students will benefit from face-to-face careers advice and community investors (including Government entities) will see quantifiable results from a proven system.
The cuts in Government funding may be harming the effectiveness of careers advice in schools, but the importance of careers guidance cannot be overstated. Career Coach is a simple, affordable solution to this common problem.