The 36-page Careers Strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents forms part of the government’s plan to make Britain “fairer, improve social mobility and offer opportunity to everyone”.

Launching the strategy at the Careers Development Institute (CDI) annual conference in Birmingham, skills minister Anne Milton said: “Without access to the best possible careers support, some people will miss out on the opportunities available.

“They will continue to be held back if they don’t have the right advice, at the right time to make informed decisions about their future, or may not have access to the broader experiences and role models to help them develop as people.

“It matters to me that we give people from all backgrounds the best possible preparation to move into a job, or training that enables them – whatever their background or wherever they live – to have a fulfilling life.”

The announcement follows the launch of the government’s Industrial Strategy, which sets out a long-term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK.

The key actions to be taken are set out in the table below. To view the key actions in more detail, click here.
IMAGE CREDITS: DfE/Careers Strategy (screenshots)


Reaction:

“Today’s Careers Strategy is long overdue with careers provision needing a radical overhaul. Manufacturers will be pleased to see young people finally given a real choice between technical and academic education, through Gatsby Benchmarks and Career Leaders. However to make a real difference, government needs to ensure that school and college performance measures give vocational education equal footing as indicated in the Industrial Strategy paper. The strategy shines the spotlight on the immediate need to address poor communication of STEM career paths in school as well as the importance of work experience and encounters with employers. Without this, young people do not get to see first-hand the careers opportunities innovative and exciting industries such as manufacturing. Manufacturers are crying out for more young talent and today’s strategy opens the door to further engagement with schools and the next generation,” Bhavina Bharkhada, education and skills policy advisor at EEF



“Careers advice matters more for engineering than many other subjects. Our research shows that unless students come from an engineering heritage background, they are unlikely to know about it. We strongly believe that high quality career guidance is the engine of social mobility. The UK has a particular challenge in that 50% of an individual’s lifetime earnings can be explained by their parents’ earnings. It’s 15% in Denmark. We support the adoption of Sir John Holman’s Gatsby Good Career Guidance Benchmarks, but have real concerns that the original PwC costings (£207 million in the first year and £173 million per year thereafter) will not be met – and that we will end up with a new bureaucracy and little cultural change.It is not sufficient simply “to allow providers of technical education access to pupils”. Cultural prejudices against technical education are so deeply ingrained in our society. If we are serious about developing a parity between academic and vocational learning, then we need to align careers advice much more closely with the day-to-day learning experience in schools. We know that one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways of achieving careers-readiness for young people is through teacher placements in industry. This is why the Institution developed and funds a STEM Insight scheme, in which secondary teachers spend five or ten days in industry. STEM Insight is predicated on the fact that teachers are among the most powerful influencers of careers decision-making,” Peter Finegold, head of education and skills at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers