The Participation and Careers unit at the DfE has written to a number of individuals and organisations it consulted recently on how to support schools in implementing the new careers guidance duty. Here is an extract from the email.
"Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, has today announced that Christine Hodgson, Chair of Capgemini UK, has agreed to chair a new, independent careers and inspiration company, that will encourage greater collaboration between schools and employers.
The new company will act as an umbrella organisation to help employers, schools and colleges and other organisations navigate their way through the existing landscape. It will provide a vehicle to help other organisations coordinate their activities where appropriate. It will not itself be a direct delivery organisation, or act in competition with the many existing providers in the market. Instead it will help schools, colleges, organisations and employers work together in partnership.
The company will focus on the offer to young people, initially those aged 12 to 18. It will work closely with the National Careers Service, which will continue to support young people directly through its helpline and website and to help the company bring employers, schools and colleges together though its local brokerage role.
The new company will:
- Use relationships with employers – private, public and third sector - to break down barriers between schools and colleges on the one hand and employers on the other, and increase the level of employer input into careers, inspiration and enterprise in all schools and colleges. It will do this partly through a network of advisors who will broker strong and extensive links at local level.
- Assist schools and colleges in choosing effective careers and enterprise organisations to partner with, including considering the use of quality marks.
- Stimulate more and better activity in areas where the current provision is poorest. The company will administer a £5 million investment fund to support innovation and stimulate good practice.
- And last but not least, it will develop an Enterprise Passport to incentivise young people to participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities that boost their appeal to employers, as well as their enterprise skills.
If you have any queries please direct these to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We anticipate that we will receive a lot of queries over the coming week and so to manage these as quickly as possible we will collate the most common questions into a Q&A that we can then circulate to you."
Many in the careers field will be disappointed that the government has chosen to set up a new body rather than to trust an existing organisation with the role. In particular, it throws into question the future role of the National Careers Service as an all-age service with a capacity-building and brokerage role. Many careers leaders in schools will also be disappointed that they will receive no direct financial support and will have to continue to make do with inadequate budgets to run their careers programmes. Some employers will also question whether they need another new education body to liaise with. For now, the announcement will help to move the poor state of careers advice down the list of contested election issues; but a 'value for money' audit will be needed urgently a year from now.