A new report from the Association of Colleges (AoC), in partnership with The Skills Show, has found that many young people are dissatisfied with the level and quality of careers guidance and advice they are getting and would like to see general improvements. In Careers Guidance: Guaranteed, many of those questioned said they would like to see:
– Linking information and experience
– Access to more detailed careers guidance
– What jobs actually involve
– Have-a-Go experiences
The report’s authors have identified four key areas that need to be addressed, if careers advice is to live up to the hopes and expectations of young people:
1. Relevant local information, provided face-to-face and online, is key to helping young people make good decisions about their future options
2. Exposure to the world of work through Have-a-Go sessions, or ‘day in the life’ videos demonstrating what a job involves to improve understanding and motivation
3. Longer-term work experience to help young people prepare themselves for the workplace
4. More direction and structure to careers guidance sessions
Michele Sutton, the President of AoC, commented on the findings: “Young people are calling for a more experiential model of careers guidance and want more work experience and Have-a-Go sessions which help them get a better grasp of what roles in, say, engineering or IT really involve. They’re also telling us that they need more practical guidance about how to go about researching jobs they’re interested in, and the steps they need to take. Children turn to their parents and teachers in the first instance and it’s our responsibility as adults to become better informed about the local jobs market to be able to offer more relevant, realistic and timely advice.”
What is needed can therefore be boiled down into two broad categories: more experiential training along with better, and more informed local labour market advice. Any increase in experiential training is dependent on schools having better links with employers and local FE colleges, along with a concerted effort to provide more opportunities for Have-a-Go sessions. But what about the information side of things?
Practical advice that really makes a difference and properly informs children of their options must be able to answer the following questions:
1. What jobs actually exist in the local area?
2. How much do they pay?
3. What training do I need to do to get into these occupations?
4. What other occupations are there that closely match the job I want to do and the skills I want to learn?
5. If I go through the training and can’t get a job, how can I use my transferrable skills to do something else?
Giving young people answers to these questions is what our web-based tool, Career Coach is all about. Using local Labour Market Information, Career Coach informs young people of the real situation in their local area, in terms of actual jobs, actual wages, training needed, alternative occupations and transferrable skills. Together with a real increase in work experience, Career Coach very much forms part of the answer to the questions young people are asking.
To find out more about how Career Coach works, and how colleges and learners are using it, contact Andy Durman Andyd@economicmodelling.co.uk