High hopes for national careers service says industry leader
The Government introduced online careers advice to young people this September, in a step towards offering a single National Careers Service from April 2012. Managing Director of specialist awarding organisation EAL (EMTA Awards Limited), Ann Watson, welcomes these changes, but warns that its success depends on sufficient information being readily available.
“The truth is that university has been pushed as the default route for too long now, with little or no information being given to students about the vocational sector,” says Watson. “Skilled apprenticeships offer real opportunities, not just employment, but the chance to learn a valuable skill that can translate across many sectors and different countries. The soon-to-be-launched National Careers Service is welcome and long overdue. I believe it will help demystify the vocational sector, which, until now, schools just haven’t had the information or ability to do. However, to be truly successful, the careers service needs to appeal to young people and encourage them to seek advice directly.”
Watson goes on: “The Government must prioritise working with industry and schools to ensure that accurate and consistent careers advice is available. There are many worthwhile opportunities in the vocational sector and, with the Government’s renewed focus on manufacturing to help the UK export its way out of recession, hopefully these will only increase.”
Watson concludes: “The National Careers Service has much potential and I eagerly await its introduction next spring. However, if it fails to deliver consistent and accurate advice through channels directly aimed at young people, the consequences could be severe. We need to ensure that another generation doesn’t grow-up in the shadow of higher education – while hugely worthwhile and the right choice for some – seeing it as is the only path to further education.”