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‘Careers advice failing due to lack of funding,’ union boss warns

ATL | Association of Teachers and Lecturers

2 min read Partner content

Careers advice and education is in desperate need of more funding and needs better support from employers, the general secretary of a leading teaching union will tell MPs.

ATL general secretary, Dr Mary Bousted, will this afternoon tell the Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy today that schools’ careers advice and education has been hit by a lack of funding.

Dr Bousted will attribute this to the Coalition Government’s abolition of the Connexions service in 2010, the lack of good quality apprenticeships, and the failure of employers to provide enough work experience places.

She will say: “In the gap left after the Coalition Government disbanded the Connexions service, careers advice has fragmented which has made it impossible for teachers to know where to turn to get good advice for young people.

“Teachers desperately want to be able to provide the best advice, but, although the Government made it a statutory requirement for schools to provide impartial careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG), it has not provided funding for the specialists needed to coordinate this.

 “There are not enough apprenticeships available for young people, with only 6% of 16 to 18-year-olds on apprenticeships according to Ofsted’s 2013/14 annual report. 

“Many employers appear to prefer to recruit older existing employees onto apprenticeships – in 2014/15 only 25% of new apprenticeships went to those under 19 years old, while 48% were filled by existing staff. 

“And many of the apprenticeships are of poor quality, with Ofsted saying (in 2014/15) nearly half (49%) of those it inspected were inadequate or required improvement….

“Good careers advice and education should be embedded in all curriculum subject areas.  The Government should also fund schools so they can provide good careers using the benchmarks in the Gatbsy Good Careers Guidance Report of 2014.”

ATL has long been calling for funding for effective careers guidance - it was one of the key issues in ATL’s education manifesto,  Education matters: talk to us, and the focus of one of our pre-election debates: Funding effective careers guidance - is another ‘lost generation’ a price worth paying?.

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