Career Development Policy Group

An emergency career development plan to maintain employment, productivity and progression post-Covid-19

The Career Development Policy Group brings together a range of organisations who believe that it is essential that citizens have an opportunity to access support in their careers. The group works with the Government and other stakeholders to develop policies and initiatives that support career development.

In this paper, we argue that the Government needs to respond to the Covid-19 crisis by taking the following actions.

• In the short-term. A £26 million fund should be created to ensure that allow education leavers, unemployed workers and those being made redundant following furloughing can access high-quality career guidance between now and the end of 2020. This money could be channelled through existing agencies and used to take on additional careers professionals to deliver support where necessary. If 1 in 89 people who received a careers interview were able to find and keep a job that they otherwise would not have found, this service would pay for itself.

• In the medium-term the infrastructure for career guidance needs to be enhanced so that career guidance can be more consistently embedded across the life course. A new careers strategy should be published in January 2021 to replace the current strategy, which ends in 2020.

• In long-term England needs a review of the current, fragmented career guidance system and the creation of a more robust lifelong guidance system.  

Access the full paper 

An emergency career development plan

What did the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announce in the Summer Economic Update in Parliament in July 2020?

'Supporting jobs'

As part of the plan to support jobs, a Job Retention Bonus will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers. UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.

A new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will also be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Funding available for each six-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up.

A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job. Young people, who are amongst the worst hit by the crisis, will benefit from this. This includes:

 Source: Chancellor's Plan for Jobs to help the UK's recovery

Career guidance and the Plan for Jobs: Ensuring impact

This document was produced by the Career Development Policy Group, outlining why the Government urgently needs to review the National Careers Service funding arrangements for the £32 million to have the maximum impact. 

Open Letter to Gillian Keegan (Minister for Apprenticeship and Skills)

Open Letter to Gillian Keegan (Minister for Apprenticeship and Skills within the Department for Education) so that all adults can get access to the National Careers Service, a Career Guidance Guarantee.

There is confusion within the sector about why the government have added new funding into the National Careers Service budget but refused to open up the groups that the Service can work with, resulting in the National Careers Service being told that workers who have been made redundant or unemployed are not a priority for it to see.

Along with hundreds of other people, the group set this out in an open letter to Gillian Keegan that we sent on Thursday 28th October. In it, we argue that the government needs to review the way in which the National Careers Service is funded and make the following changes.

We urge everyone to follow up this letter with their own communications to the Minister (either on Twitter or by email).

It is hoped that she will quickly respond to the open letter and ensure that the money that was identified in the Plan for Jobs is actually able to do the work that is needed. 

Open Letter to Gillian Keegan (Minister for Apprenticeship and Skills within the Department for Education) so that all adults can get access to the National Careers Service, a Career Guidance Guarantee.

Gillian Keegan MP

Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills

Department for Education

20 Great Smith Street




Thursday 22 October 2020


Dear Gillian Keegan

We are writing on behalf of 93 organisations from the worlds of education and employment. We would like to bring several concerns about the current funding arrangements for the National Careers Service to your attention. The provision of support to help people to manage their careers is more important than ever in the current labour market. The signatories to this letter believe that more needs to be done to support people, at all stages of life to build successful careers and make a contribution to the economy.

The National Careers Service delivers high quality career guidance to adults, helping them to navigate the complexity of education, training, retraining and employment. But, despite the government investing in the Service, restrictions on how the funding can be used may prevent many workers who are facing redundancy or who are currently unemployed from accessing the support they need.

At present, adults aged 25 to 49 who are unemployed for less than one year and young people aged 18 to 24 who are at risk of redundancy are not identified by the government as a priority and this may limit the help that they can expect to receive. Given the current employment crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are asking for these restrictions to be lifted.

The government has launched a range of initiatives to stimulate and support employment through the Plan for Jobs, the Winter Economic Plan and the Lifetime Skills Guarantee. The provision of professional career guidance underpins all of these policies and ensures their effectiveness. People need to understand the opportunities that are available to them and seek advice and guidance about the best route forward within a turbulent labour market.

Thankfully the Chancellor agrees on the importance of career guidance, saying that “the evidence says careers advice works, so we’ll fund it, with an additional £32 million to recruit careers advisers and provide bespoke advice and careers guidance for over a quarter of a million more people.”

This new funding should allow the National Careers Service to increase the overall number of people that it can help by more than half. However, the funding arrangements through which the £32 million is put to use, remain inflexible. They need to be reformed to allow the service to have the maximum impact. Without reform these ambitious targets will not be achieved, which will reflect badly on the government and National Careers Service and leave many unemployed workers unable to access the support they need.

In order to address this the government needs to review the way in which the National Careers Service is funded and make the following changes.

  • Ensure that all adults, from 18 until retirement, who are at risk of redundancy or currently unemployed, are identified as a priority for the National Careers Service. The Service’s funding principles need to be changed accordingly.
  • National Careers Service providers should be allocated a proportion of the new funding up front to allow them to recruit, train and develop staff to deliver quality services against the new level of demand.

We hope that you will be able to address these issues quickly so that the National Careers Service will be able to deliver the services that are so sorely needed in this challenging economic climate. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss these issues in more detail.

Yours sincerely

Letter from Gillian Keegan on career guidance

Letter from Gillian Keegan on career guidance

This document is useful as it sets out what the government’s policy is on the area. However, it misses a lot of the problems that I have been trying to highlight along with colleagues in the Career Development Policy Group and the wider careers and education sectors.


The Career Development Policy Group and the Fair Education Alliance have written an open letter to the Secretary of State calling for the Department for Education to introduce a Career Guidance Guarantee for young people and unemployed adults.


View the open letter to Gavin Williamson calling for a Career Guidance Guarantee 

This letter calls for every young person and unemployed adult to have access to career guidance to support them to make informed decisions. It is essential that individuals can find the destinations that are right for them so that they can make the most of the available opportunities post Covid-19. 

We had over 800 signature to this letter. 

3 people talking

About the Policy Group Partners

Careers England Ltd is the sole trade association for organisations involved in the provision of Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) products and services in England for people of all ages. Our members provide aspects of some, or all, of the four components of CEIAG:

  • Careers Education (Career Learning)
  • Careers Information
  • Careers Advice
  • Careers Guidance

In a typical academic year, our members provide face to face careers support to just under three-quarters of a million individuals in England. This includes working in over 1100 schools to provide CEIAG to over 130,000 young people. In addition, we deliver careers help to 167,000 16 to 20-year-olds, 80,000 20 to 24-year-olds and around 350,000 adults aged at least 24 years.

The members of Careers England Ltd comprise the majority of prime and sub-contracted deliverers of the National Careers Service. They also deliver careers guidance services for local authorities, schools and colleges across England. Most of our members are charities and social enterprises. We also have a number of sole traders and other organisations who, although not delivery services, are engaged with the careers sector.

To find out more:

Careers Research and Advisory Centre

CRAC provides research, intelligence and innovation services for all those who support the career development of people of all ages and in all sectors.

We work in partnership with government agencies, education organisations and providers and employers and professional bodies.



The CDI is the single UK-wide professional body for everyone working in the fields of career education; career information, advice and guidance; career coaching, career consultancy and career management. We opened our doors on 2 April 2013.

 It had been the goal for many years of the founding bodies - ACEG; ACPi-UK; ICG and NAEGA - to join together and create a single voice for the Career Development sector. 

 As the professional body for the sector, our aims are to support members to maintain their professionalism by helping them to: 

  • become qualified to a relevant level;
  • adopt professional values and adhere to the CDI Code of Ethics;
  • recognise the need to maintain and develop their own skills and knowledge;
  • integrate  current research and theory into practice;
  • keep up to date with sectoral, societal and technological developments;
  • publicly advocate for their profession in the interest of clients.

To Find out more:

The Fair Education Alliance is a coalition of 189 organisations which aims to tackle inequality in the education system. We bring together diverse voices to lead change. We facilitate collaboration and support our network of members to work together to amplify and increase their impact. We use our collective voice and resources to achieve systemic change that wouldn't be possible alone.

To find out more:

iCeGS is a research centre with an expertise in career development and widening access. The Centre conducts research, provides consultancy to the career sector, offers a range of training and delivers a number of accredited learning programmes up to and including doctoral level. A history of the Centre is available in the book. Hyde, C. (2014):
A Beacon for Guidance.

The Centre employs a team of researchers with a range of academic and professional backgrounds and works closely with a network of research associates and partners who contribute specialist knowledge and capacity. iCeGS has a strong ethos which connects our research to policy and practice.

To find more: