This report from the IPPR think tank looks at five critical elements of the school-to-work transition for young people – the role of employers, vocational education, apprenticeships, careers guidance, and the benefits system – and at lessons the UK can learn from European economies with better youth employment records.
The report argues that in those European countries that have low rates of youth unemployment, careers education and guidance play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth transition from education to work, but it has been badly neglected in England. To rectify the situation, additional funds should be found to enable a number of steps to be taken:
- Careers education should be embedded in the curriculum from primary school onwards, and for pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 should involve a greater degree of contact with local employers.
- The National Careers Service should be expanded to allow it to offer more support to schools.
- Careers guidance – and some careers education – should be provided by specialist advisers rather than teachers.
- Every secondary school should be required to appoint a full-time careers officer responsible for careers education and guidance, and for liaison with local employers.
- All students should have a face-to-face careers interview with a specialist adviser in year 9 and again in year 11, to help them make the crucial choices they face in those years.
- Careers advisers should be made responsible for getting local employers more involved in schools, and for providing students with up-to-date information on education and training options and on opportunities in the local labour market.
Read the report online here