University of Derby co-sponsors report into careers guidance system in England

20 July 2021

maze with signposts for different career paths

The University of Derby has co-sponsored a new report which examines the careers information, advice and guidance system in England, and how it supports transitions into employment.

The latest report by Policy Connect’s cross-party Skills Commission, Transition to Ambition: Navigating the careers maze, was co-chaired by Dr Siobhan Neary, Associate Professor and Head of the International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) at the University of Derby, with Nicola Richards MP (Con) and Lord Jim Knight (Lab).

The Skills Commission has called for an ambitious longer-term strategy from government to ensure that the careers system can support people into work as we face the economic consequences of the pandemic.

Following the economic and labour market instability caused by the pandemic, alongside the effects of Brexit and the fourth industrial revolution, the report concludes that it is crucial that England’s careers information, advice and guidance (CIAG) system works efficiently so that as many people as possible can be properly supported with their transitions into employment. The CIAG delivered to young people and adults inside and outside education is vital to tackle England’s persistent skills gaps and workforce shortages.

Other recommendations include the creation of an employer-led careers strategy advisory board, zero rating of educational and careers resources on mobile data, and adequate longer-term funding for the CIAG system made available in the Spending Review 2021.  

Dr Siobhan Neary, said: “The report provides a timely reminder of the importance of coherent, accessible and visible career development support for all. Conducted during the pandemic, it shines a light on the role of professional career support in empowering individuals to navigate the complexity of the emerging post Brexit and Covid worlds.

“It calls on the government to take a longer-term perspective, highlights many of the duplications of provision while emphasising the excellent practice and opportunities on which we can establish a world-class service. 

“I would like to congratulate the team at Policy Connect on this excellent report and I am thrilled to have been able to contribute.”

Nicola Richards MP, inquiry co-chair, added: “To help young people navigate the labour market challenges ahead, they need to be fully informed of the breadth of education and training pathways open to them, and the ones that will give them the best prospects for building their careers.”

Lord Jim Knight of Weymouth, inquiry co-chair, said: “Careers guidance has been neglected by successive governments and as a former Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform, and for Schools, I saw first-hand the consequences of not getting this right.

“As the dynamics of the current employment market shift – rising unemployment, self-employment, automation and the 100 year life – we need now, more than ever, to seriously address the crisis in our adult skills system. This needs to work as a through life system and must be married with a high quality guidance system plugged into labour market insight and intelligence.”

To find out more about the Skills Commission report visit the Policy Connect website here.

For more information about the International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS), click here.

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