A few weeks ago, Ofsted released a report outlining some areas of careers advice in schools that need improvement. The thirty-page report identifies many things, including the need for “good and realistic information and guidance about the full range of career pathways available to [young people]”.
The London Skills & Employment Observatory (an offshoot of the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion) published a report in June 2012 called The Careers Guidance Lottery. The aim of the report was to discuss changes in the provision of careers guidance in schools in London and recommend best practice for various entities, such as schools, local authorities and the National Careers Service.
Among other things, the report recommends Career Coach as a standard for online careers guidance.
Good examples of online support include the Careers Wales website, and the Career Coach tool built by EMSI… The EMSI Career Coach tool links different careers to specific courses from particular training providers, and plots longitudinal earnings and employment trends based on specific job roles in specific locations (as defined by the user – for example, within 50 miles of a certain city).
The report recommends that the National Careers Service should build on best practice from websites such as Career Coach “to ensure that its website is relevant to young people, and reflective of the labour market of customers in different local areas.”
In terms of careers guidance, Career Coach is not the ultimate solution, but what Career Coach offers is a way to connect specific courses with relevant careers, showcasing employment potential using EMSI’s unique local labour market information. The careers guidance and student services staff at the school or college can use this robust and relevant foundation to contextualise the data, so that students understand the full range of career pathways available to them. As the report sets out, it is vital for young people to have access to good and realistic information about those career pathways.
The report gives one example of a school that used local LMI to inform students of their options. As long as careers advice is based on objective LMI — combined with employer testimony and local job postings — learners have a good chance of progressing to completion and securing a well-paying job that will ultimately lead to a successful, sustainable and rewarding career.