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SUSTAINABILITY


(STEM) and we are creatively bringing these subjects to life with them through hands on learning.


Through our close working relationship with schools, it has become very apparent to us the difference in the quality of careers advice provision across England. The way careers advice for 13 to 16-year- old students is organised and delivered has changed dramatically since 2012 – and not all the changes have been positive.


FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS Over the years government funding


for school’s careers advice services have been removed and individual schools have been left to decide what careers advice is best for their students, and how to fund it.


“DURING THE COALITION


GOVERNMENT,


2.2 MILLION NEW APPRENTICESHIPS


WERE CREATED, BUT THE VAST MAJORITY


HAVE BEEN TAKEN UP BY THE OVER-25S.”


It’s estimated that a reasonable level of careers advice support will cost a school around £25,000 a year. It is no surprise that schools today are unable to offer the same level of service they did prior to 2012 and that the quality of careers advice varies greatly between schools and across the country, depending largely on what a school believes it can afford.


The result is that careers advice often falls short of what our young people need, and what our industry requires and this will have a knock- on effect in the future and is already being seen in the visible skills gap. Careers advice should be a basic provision of a consistently high standard across the country,


www.tomorrowsfm.com


but it’s not. For example, Ofsted has said vocational options and apprenticeships are rarely promoted effectively by schools.


This is where we want to have a voice in our industry. As a responsible and sustainable business we already take important steps to make a difference and this year we will take on around 100 new apprentices. It would be encouraging to see employers of all shapes and sizes demonstrate a similar commitment to apprenticeship programmes. But we need to go further than apprenticeships. Fundamentally, we need to get our young people excited by science, technical or engineering careers.


REACHING THE


TARGET POPUATIONS I read a report recently by the Institute for Public Policy Research which said that in the five years of the coalition government, 2.2 million new apprenticeships were created, but the vast majority had been taken up by the over-25s. Surprisingly, there was almost no growth in the number of under-19s participating in apprenticeships.


We all know about the UK’s widening skills gaps, and apprenticeships are one way in which we can close those gaps and ensure we all have sustainable businesses and can offer sustainable careers to young people.


So whilst all the political parties in the run up to the recent General Election made clear references to apprenticeships, a vital step to these has been crucially overlooked and it is now the responsibility of us, the industry, politicians and academics to take an industry- wide view of careers provision and to work together to find the right solutions. NG Bailey is certainly keen to engage in this conversation and push the sustainable careers agenda forwards.


www.ngbailey.com TOMORROW’S FM | 31


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