The success of Labour's careers advice pledge
The National Federation of Builders welcomes Miliband's promise to guarantee personal careers advice for all teenagers, but warns the success of the plan depends on the advisors.
The Labour Party has pledged to introduce guaranteed face-to-face careers advice for pupils from age 11. The policy is expected to cost approximately £50 million, with funding delivered through a partnership between schools, colleges, universities, and businesses.
The NFB welcomes this policy pledge and views it as an important part of a long-term strategy to address the skills shortage affecting all sectors, including the construction industry. The success of this proposal depends on ensuring that those who provide careers advice appreciate the broad range of career opportunities in the construction industry. Advice should recognise the match between individual strengths, transferable skills and career prospects, of which there are many in construction, including managerial and technical.
The traditional, widely-held perception of the construction industry means that there is not enough promotion of the breadth of careers opportunities available in the sector, especially for pupils with high proficiency in maths, physics, and information technology. Apprenticeship starts in the construction sector have decreased by 23% from 22,000 in 2010/2011 to 13,000 in 2014/2015, numbers which exacerbate the current skills shortage and perhaps point to a lack of promotion.
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