Please cite as: Cedefop (2020). Inventory of lifelong guidance systems and practices - UK / England. CareersNet national records. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/inventory-lifelong-guidance-systems-and-practices-uk-england
Contributor: Deirdre Hughes
Reviewed by: Cedefop
Copyright: Reproduction is authorised, provided the source is acknowledged.
Disclaimer: Translations of titles/names for entities, country policies and practices are not to be considered as official translations.

Introduction

The Government’s Industrial Strategy (2019) identifies career development as a mechanism contributing to reskilling people, increasing productivity, addressing social mobility, attracting people to STEM careers, encouraging people to remain in the workforce for longer and the establishment of technical/vocational qualifications and apprenticeship as viable alternatives to traditional higher education. Government has articulated that investing in people and "across their lifetimes is fundamental to our shared success, from strong foundations for children and young people in schools and relevant high-quality education and training in our further and higher education systems to career-long learning and enabling employers to invest in their workforce." (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, 2018).

In December 2017, the Department for Education (DfE) published a national Careers Strategy. This strategy is a culmination of government changes bringing together career education, information, advice and guidance policy for young people and adults collectively within the Department for Education and within the portfolio of a single Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills. This document explains how DfE will

“bring together all the different elements of our careers system to deliver significant improvements for people of all ages.” (p.5)

The Government has committed to invest circa £70million (2017-2020) - although it is widely acknowledged this is not at previous levels of investment. When it comes to access to lifelong guidance, much of the public-sector resource is focused specifically on geographical areas of deprivation and targeted priority groups.

Across England, there exists a wide range of initiatives and providers delivering careers provision in any one geographical area: schools, colleges, local/combined authorities councils, local enterprise partnerships, privately owned companies (some subsidised by government) e.g. the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) and other self-financing, voluntary/third sector organisations e.g. Primary Futures and Inspiring the Future and sole traders. The National Careers Service, Jobcentre Plus, CEC and National Health Service Careers operate alongside these agencies, as well as independent training providers and universities/HE providers. Coordination across the careers development sector in England is differentiated between services for young people and adults. Schools, academies and colleges have responsibility to provide careers support for their students (Department for Education, 2018).

A marketised approach to careers provision is highly prevalent thereby creating a complex and fragmented system, particularly for young people. Schools and colleges are expected by government to provide careers support services without any allocated budgets to do so. There is a high expectation from Government that Gatsby benchmarks will be embedded in all schools, academies and colleges in England (further information on the benchmarks can be found from Gatsby Benchmarks, 2017, here). Earlier school and college pilot projects in the North East of England were given direct funding of £9k and access to a £250k innovation fund but this has not been replicated by the CEC. The company was established as an independent social enterprise (2015) with the aim of supporting schools and colleges in improving their careers guidance for those aged 12 to 18. In 2018/19, £30.2 million was provided in a government grant which fell to £24.3 million in 2019/20.

 

Sources

Careers and Enterprise Company. https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (2018). Forging our future: Industrial Strategy - the story so far. Policy paper. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/forging-our-future-industrial-strategy-the-story-so-far/forging-our-future-industrial-strategy-the-story-so-far

Department for Education (2017). Careers Strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/careers-strategy-making-the-most-of-everyones-skills-and-talents

Gatsby Benchmarks (2017). Good Career Guidance. http://www.gatsby.org.uk/education/focus-areas/good-career-guidance

HM Government (2017). Industrial strategy: building a Britain fit for the future. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/664563/industrial-strategy-white-paper-web-ready-version.pdf

House of Commons Library (2019). Industrial strategy. Briefing Paper; Number CBP7682. https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7682

House of Commons Library (2019). Industrial Strategy. London https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7682

Jobcentre Plus. https://www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus

National Careers Service. https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/

National Health Service Careers. https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/

Coordination and collaboration among stakeholders

England does not have a Strategic Careers Forum to oversee the components with the national Careers Strategy. Regional co-ordination and collaboration takes place through close working links between Local Enterprise Partnerships, Local/Combined Authorities, area-based National Careers Service, JobcentrePlus and the CEC.

Coordination and collaboration for adult careers support services among national stakeholders is mainly between Jobcentre Plus and the National Careers Service. Young people can access a telephone helpline service and the National Careers Service website. A Memo of Understanding exists between the National Careers Service and the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) for a joined-up approach to careers and enterprise activities at a strategic level. In 2018-19, over 180,000 young people and 1,613 schools and colleges took part in local higher education outreach activities through the Uni Connect programme. This initiative was formerly known as the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), with the same stated aims:

  1. to reduce the gap in higher education participation between the most and least represented groups;
  2. to support young people to make well-informed decisions about their future education;
  3. to support effective and impactful local collaboration by higher education providers working together with schools, colleges, employers and other partners;
  4. to contribute to a stronger evidence-base around ‘what works’ in higher education outreach and strengthen evaluation practice in the sector (Office for Students, 2020).

At a local and regional level early foundations in local careers support services are underpinned by City, Growth and Devolution Deals. Local partnership activities with local leaders connect access to lifelong guidance as a driver for improved productivity, economic development and social inclusion (e.g. Careers for Londoners: Action Plan, 2018; Championing Careers Derby, 2020).

The Local Government Association (LGA) launched Work Local, an ambitious but practical vision for devolved employment and skills provision (2017). It is concerned that the current skills and employment system is fragmented, lacks coherence and is failing those most in need of support to help them gain skills, access employment and escape poverty. Twenty employment and skills funding streams are managed by eight Government Departments or agencies, spending more than £10bn per year. It is argued that the current system often fails to meet local need, address economic and social challenges, or make a decisive impact on outcomes. The current challenges include:

  1. nine million people lack literacy and numeracy skills;
  2. more than half of all unemployed people do not claim benefits or receive employment support from Jobcentre Plus;
  3. 5.5 million people want a job or more hours;
  4. by 2024, the skills mismatch will be equivalent to 12 million people.

The LGA vision is for combined authorities and groups of councils, working in partnership with local and national stakeholders, to have the powers and funding to plan, commission and have oversight of a joined-up service bringing together advice and guidance, employment, skills and apprenticeships, and business support for individuals and employers. There exists 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships in England and they argue they too are in a position to work at a local level with their local authority partners to tackle this challenge.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency provides the Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge Programme (ASK) free to schools in England to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and support to enable them to promote apprenticeships. The scheme was introduced in 2016, originally for students in years 10 to 13. From September 2019, the programme has been extended to include years 7 to 9. The Government stated that in the 2018/19 academic year, the ASK programme reached over 300,000 students across 2,368 establishments.

There are no statutory requirements around the provision of careers advice in higher education institutions (HEIs) (p.31). However, careers advice and guidance is an important student service offered by all higher education institutions (HEIs). University careers offices offer a wide range of services such as: careers advice, help with writing CVs and application forms, interview skills and networking/mentoring opportunities. HEIs careers offices may also arrange campus career fairs where employers can meet graduates. Many university careers centres continue to provide support to their graduates for several years after graduating.

Careers England is the trade association for employer organisations and traders involved in the provision of products and services promoting careers education and guidance in England. As the only association of specialist career guidance businesses (traders of all sizes from sole-traders through to large employers) in the country, it’s main purpose is to promote the benefits to the nation of utilising the distinctive skills of such providers. The products and services that members provide promote social mobility, achievement and economic well-being for people of all ages. Any trader in the careers business is eligible for membership.

The Career Development Institute (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. CDI and the trade body for employers of careers professionals, Careers England work closely together. The CDI also regularly engage with the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Service (AGCAS) which represents university careers services.

The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) is a professional membership organisation that relies on a combination of volunteers and paid employees to operate daily. It is a registered charity and limited company operating under the terms of the Association’s Articles. AGCAS provides training and continuous professional development (CPD) for university careers services.

 

Sources

Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services. https://www.agcas.org.uk/

Career Development Institute. https://www.thecdi.net/Home

Careers and Enterprise Company. https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/

Careers England. https://www.careersengland.org.uk/

Department for Education (2017). Careers Strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/careers-strategy-making-the-most-of-everyones-skills-and-talents

ESFA (n.d.). Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge Programme. https://amazingapprenticeships.com/about-ask/

Greater London Authority (2018). Careers for Londoners. Action Plan. https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/careers_for_londoners_action_plan.pdf

Hughes, D.; Adriaanse, K.; Gray, D.; Percy, C.; Rogers, M.; Thurston, C. (2020). Championing Careers Derby: executive summary. http://www.d2n2lep.org/write/Championing_Careers_Derby_Executive_Summary_ONLINE.pdf

Jobcentre Plus. https://www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus

Local Government Association (2017). Work Local. https://www.local.gov.uk/topics/employment-and-skills/work-local

Local Government Association. https://www.local.gov.uk/

National Careers Service. https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/

Office for Students (2020). UniConnect programme. https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/promoting-equal-opportunities/uni-connect/

Access to guidance

The National Careers Service provides careers information, advice and guidance helping clients to make decisions on learning, training/work opportunities. Young people aged 13+ and adults have access to a national helpline service. For adults in priority target groups such as: low-skilled and low-qualified; aged 18-24 not in education, employment or training; aged 50 and over who are unemployed or at demonstrable risk of redundancy; single parents; people with special educational needs and/or disabilities; and adults unemployed for over 12 months - access to local face-to-face career guidance or online support is readily available. The service offers confidential and impartial advice, supported by qualified careers advisers. The service maintains a comprehensive online portal offering a range of supportive tools.

By means of a Skills Assessment and  Skills Health Check Tool users can find out more about their strengths and personality type, at the end users get a report summarising the results. This also includes suggestions on job areas that might suit the user. A dedicated Action Plan Tool helps the users create a step-by-step approach to keep them on track and working towards their goals. Hands-on support is also provided in terms a dedicated CV Builder Tool and a covering letter advice section. In addition, apprentices and trainees have access to the National Careers Service telephone helpline and/or Jobcentre Plus advisers.

The Department for Education (DfE) offers an online facility for the storage of an individual Personal Learning Record (PLR) – an authoritative online record of an individuals’ qualifications and achievements. The PLR records general and vocational qualifications. This means individuals should no longer have to show copies of different certificates to learning providers and employers. A unique 10-digit number (ULN) is generated and most learners aged 14+ have one. It is designed to work with an individual’s PLR, helping to give proof of learning and achievements from the age of 16 onwards. The ULN is mandatory for all Learners aged 14 or over or in or will be in receipt of a diploma qualification. ULNs are also mandatory for learners in England funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), an executive agency of the Department for Education (DfE), creates and holds the Unique Learner Numbers to enable effective management of information to fulfil the functions of the DfE. This has been overseen and agreed with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has responsibility for the Public Employment Service delivered through Jobcentre Plus (JCP). National Careers Service providers are co-located within Jobcentre Plus. JCP has been working closely with the National Careers Service on a Fuller Working Lives initiative to support older workers to remain in the workforce, retrain and to work with employers to recruit older workers. The DWP Jobcentre Plus roll-out in schools and colleges provide advice to young people in schools about apprenticeships, traineeships and vocational routes into employment. The delivery of this initiative is uneven across England. A 2018 research study reported a need to either increase resources or target resources on more specific groups. At the moment the programme seems to be most differentiated from other provision among students at risk of becoming NEET and concentrating the programme more clearly on this group is likely to have the greatest effectiveness. "This will also help to more clearly define the programme for partners, which is likely to aid effective co-ordination of provision."

The Careers and Enterprise Company performs a strategic role in supporting schools, academies and colleges in their responsibilities to make sure that every young person is offered at least one employer encounter between the age of 11 to 18. The Company has expanded its Enterprise Adviser Network so that by 2020 an Enterprise Adviser is available to all schools and colleges. The Company is required help schools and colleges in their responsibilities to meet the Gatsby Foundation’s eight benchmarks. This includes continuing to support 20 existing Careers Hubs; establishing and supporting 20 new Hub areas by March 2020; and by funding training for at least 1300 Careers Leaders by the end of August 2020.

Higher education students have access to career guidance through a separate service offered by higher education institutions. These local graduate careers services provide information about courses, learning pathways and learning opportunities, and contribute to the development of personal, career management, and employability skills. Moreover, in some universities, students have access to portfolios where they gather education accomplishments and career activities developed so far. In some British universities, students have access to internships. The Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) is a research charity and agency of Universities UK and GuildHE which works with careers and employability professionals and their institutions and undertakes research into all aspects of graduate employability. HECSU also runs Prospects the graduate careers information website.

Guidance provision is patchy and inconsistent in most regions and local areas, particularly for vulnerable young people. At present, there is a shortage of trained and qualified careers advisers in England. A few examples of selected regional and local initiatives include:

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Ambitions Project  launched in autumn 2018. The Ambitions project is receiving up to £3.8 million of funding from the European Social Fund (ESF), as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. This is led by CSW Group, supporting over 3,000 economically inactive and unemployed 15-24-year olds in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The North East Ambition programme, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), is actively supporting all of the region’s schools, academies and colleges to meet the Gatsby ‘Good Career Guidance’ benchmarks – placing emphasis on engagement with employers, experiences of workplaces and linking learning to labour market information and regional employment sectors.

Beyond the National Careers Service, a plethora of free ‘at the point of entry’ online careers platforms exist such as: START a free, online careers platform, designed to connect 11 to 18-year olds with their future career potential and Career Explorer offering diagnostic career activities.

The Baker Clause an amendment to the Technical and Further Education Act 2017 by Lord Baker, requires every state school from January 2018 to give training providers and colleges access to pupils aged 8 to 13 to discuss technical education and apprenticeships (House of Commons Library, p. 6). Under the clause, schools are required to publish a “provider access statement” of how they give access to alternative training providers.

 

Sources

Career Explorer. https://www.careerexplorer.com/

Cornwall Education Business Partnership (2019). Ambitions Project. https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/education-and-learning/education-business-partnership-ebp/ambitions-project/

CSW Group (2019). https://cswgroup.co.uk/

Department for Education (2018). How to access your personal learning record. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-access-your-personal-learning-record

Department for Education (2018). The Baker Clause. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017/19/contents

Department for Work and Pensions (2017). Fuller Working Lives: a partnership approach. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fuller-working-lives-a-partnership-approach

Department for Work and Pensions (2018). Evaluation of Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools programme: national roll-out evaluation. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/696455/evaluation-of-jobcentre-plus-support-for-schools-programme.pdf

Department for Work and Pensions (2019). Fuller Working Lives programme: 2 years on https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/fuller-working-lives-2-years-on.

Department for Work and Pensions. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions

Education and Skills Funding Agency (2017). What is a personal learning record? https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-access-your-personal-learning-record#what-is-a-personal-learning-record

HECSU. https://hecsu.ac.uk/

Jobcentre Plus. https://www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus

National Careers Service Skills Assessment. https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/skills-assessment

National Careers Service Skills Health Check. https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/skills-health-check/home

National Careers Service. https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/

Neary, S.; Priestly, P. (2018). Workforce needs of the career development sector in the UK. Derby: International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby. https://www.thecdi.net/write/CDI_employer_research_Final_191118.pdf

North East Local Enterprise Partnership (2020). News. https://www.northeastlep.co.uk/news/in-conversation-with-matt-joyce-regional-lead-for-north-east-ambition-at-the-north-east-local-enterprise-partnership-about-how-were-connecting-careers-guidance-to-employment-opportunities

Prospects. https://www.prospects.ac.uk/

START. https://www.startprofile.com/

Quality assurance

The matrix Standard is a unique quality standard for organisations to assess and measure their advice and support services, which ultimately supports individuals in their choice of career, learning, work and life goals. Examples of organisations which used the matrix quality standard in order to have their internal information, advice and guidance activities accredited can be found here. All National Careers Service  contractors are required to achieve the matrix Standard, to assess and measure their information, advice and/or guidance services. From 11 January 2020, the Growth Company, a non-for-profit company, is contracted by the Department for Education to administer and manage the matrix Standard.

The Quality in Careers Standard is the national Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) quality award primarily for England (and is also accessible in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man & the Channel Islands). A CEC (Career and Enterprise Company) State of the Nation 2018 report indicates on page 53 "Quality in Careers makes positive impact on performance against the Gatsby benchmarks...The strongest correlation with a higher Overall Benchmark Score was schools and colleges that had sought and achieved a Quality in Careers Standard. The Quality in Careers Standard is an independently assessed award which schools and colleges can seek for their careers provision. The institutions that have achieved the Quality in Careers Standard achieve 13.1 percentage points better on the Overall Benchmark Score than those schools and colleges that do not have a Quality in Careers Standard. We tested this effect by controlling for all of the other factors listed in table A2 and it becomes slightly stronger (13.34%). This provides a strong indication that the impact of the Quality in Careers Standard is a real one and cannot be explained through chance or by any other factors. However, it is worth noting that the schools and colleges who have achieved the Quality in Careers Standard are still only meeting 2.9 benchmarks on average."

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (2019) published an Ipsos Mori National Careers Service Satisfaction and Progression Annual Report based on fieldwork carried out between May 2017 and April 2018.

The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) inspection framework sets out how inspectors will inspect state schools, further education and skills providers, non-association independent schools and registered early years settings in England.

Gatsby Benchmarks are key guiding principles to inform and support quality assurance in England's schools and colleges. Investors in People is an independent, not-for-profit company that helps thousands of organisations to lead, support and manage people well for sustainable results

The AGCAS Membership Quality Standard  outlines and demonstrates the levels of professionalism with which member services fulfil their purpose. According to AGCAS, alongside an opportunity for service reflection and development, member engagement with the Quality Standard will enhance AGCAS’s ambition to provide support to its member services and their leadership across its strategic themes, most notably Advocacy, Learning and Research and Knowledge. The stated aims of the AGCAS Membership Quality Standard published on its website, are to:

  1. encourage and maintain high standards of professional delivery and conduct by AGCAS members;
  2. integrate with, not duplicate or replace, other externally verified quality standards, which a service may wish to achieve;
  3. offer a developmental opportunity for member services through self-identification of good practice and opportunities for development; alongside peer review in a form that suits individual service needs.

The Quality Standard has been developed by the AGCAS Professionalism Working Party (PWP) which also developed a supporting Code of Ethics.

Unionlearn is a trade union which aims to increase the learning opportunities for low-skilled employees by providing career support to its own union learning representatives, but also to those from partner trade unions. Its internal and external career guidance services have been accredited in 2002. One result of using the matrix to develop their activities has been the establishment of internal training and qualifications in career work. Personal development plans, individual support, a digital progress tracking system, and an electronic feedback system are now in place.

 

Sources

Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) (n.d.). AGCAS Membership Quality Standard. https://www.agcas.org.uk/AGCAS-Membership-Quality-Standard

Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) (n.d.). Code of Ethics. https://www.agcas.org.uk/AGCAS-Member-Code-of-Ethics

Careers and Enterprise Company (2018). Careers and enterprise provision in England’s secondary schools and colleges: State of the Nation. http://www.qualityincareers.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/state_of_the_nation_2018_report_1118.pdf

Gatsby Benchmarks (2017). Good Career Guidance. http://www.gatsby.org.uk/education/focus-areas/good-career-guidance

Investors in People. https://www.investorsinpeople.com/our-story/

Ipsos Mori (2018). National Careers Service: Customer Satisfaction and Progression Annual Report. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/809683/FINAL_NCS_Customer_Sat_and_Prog_Annual_Report_-Year_7_report_v2.pdf

Matrix Standard (2019). https://matrixstandard.com/

Matrix Standard (n.d.). Case studies. https://matrixstandard.com/case-studies/

National Careers Service. https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/

Ofsted (2018). The education inspection framework. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/801429/Education_inspection_framework.pdf

Quality in Careers Standard. https://www.qualityincareers.org.uk/

Unionlearn. https://www.unionlearn.org.uk/

Career management skills

The following are selected examples of programmes, initiatives and sponsors in relation to career management skills.

National Careers Service Skills Assessment and Skills Health Check, include series of openly available tools including online questionnaires with a personalised report from the National Careers Service. The tools are designed to give individuals information about their skills, interests and motivations;

International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby. Career management skills: Managing the paradigm shift from matching to constructing a career, presentation at CDI Conference, December 2017.

Ahead Partnership, connects employers with education, as well as with public and private sector partners, by using partnership as an engine for social and economic change.

Career- related learning (CRL) in Primary Schools. Teach First has published international and national research findings on good/interesting practices and are currently (2019) working on the design of a CRL training programme for teachers and leaders in primary schools across England.

EDT is a company, passionate about creating Science, Technology, Engineering and maths- related experiences.

Enterprise Village is a limited company that provides support to schools to develop an action plan towards achieving the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Founder4schools. Its mission is to inspire students and prepare them for the rapidly changing world of work. This company enables educators to invite business leaders for encounters with their students. The online platform is a free service, connecting educators with leaders of successful growing businesses in their community.

Future First Alumni provides role models (past school and college pupils) who provide insights to career management skills.

Inspiring the Future, enables schools to connect with inspirational volunteers from the world of work quickly and easily, revolutionising the way in which young people get insights into exciting and unique careers and inspiring them to be ambitious. Career management skills are developed in assemblies and classroom activities.

Nesta published an international Rapid Evidence Search (2019) reporting on factors that impact on adult workers’ motivation to learn and popular career concepts such as protean and boundary-less careers which emphasise the individual responsibility for active career management. This includes experimental evidence on the effectiveness of specific strategies and techniques (including digital approaches) to increase the motivation of adult workers to learn and develop new skills

The Tenner challenge run by Young Enterprise. Young people are pledged £10 from the Tenner Bank and use this start-up capital to get their enterprise off the ground. Participants have one month to make as much impact and profit as they can.

Unionlearn. Valuing the skills of older workers (How to do a mid-life development review).

York Cares, matches the skills and expertise of employers and their employees to community projects where they can have most impact. Tried and tested programmes deliver tangible benefits for local people as well as workforce development opportunities for employers and career management skills for young people.

 

Sources

Ahead Partnership. http://www.aheadpartnership.org.uk/about/

EDT. http://www.etrust.org.uk/

Enterprise Village. https://www.achievementbuilder.co.uk/ev_home

Founder4schools. https://www.founders4schools.org.uk/about/

Future First Alumni. https://futurefirst.org.uk/

Gatsby Benchmarks (2017). Good Career Guidance. http://www.gatsby.org.uk/education/focus-areas/good-career-guidance

Inspiring the Future (2019). https://www.inspiringthefuture.org/

Kashefpakdel, E.; Rehill, J.; Hughes, D. (2019). Career-related learning in primary: the role of primary teachers and schools in preparing children for the future. https://www.teachfirst.org.uk/sites/default/files/2019-01/edemp_careerprimary-report_jan2019_v5_indv.pdf

National Careers Service Skills Assessment. https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/skills-assessment

National Careers Service Skills Health Check. https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/skills-health-check/home

Neary, S. (2017). Career management skills: managing the paradigm shift from matching to constructing a career. Presentation at CDI Conference December 2017. https://www.thecdi.net/write/AC2017/Keynote/SiobhanNeary_From_Matching_to_Constructing.pdf

Nesta (2019). What Motivates Adults to Learn? A rapid evidence review of what drives learning new skills in the workplace. https://media.nesta.org.uk/documents/Digital_Frontrunners_Motivation_to_Learn_report_final_published.pdf

Tenner Challenge. https://www.young-enterprise.org.uk/programmes/tenner-challenge/

Unionlearn. https://www.unionlearn.org.uk/

York Cares. https://www.yorkcares.co.uk/

Evidence, monitoring and assessment

In respect of evidence, monitoring and assessment of the effectiveness of career guidance, a plethora of evidence-based reports are briefly presented below.

What Works? CEC Series. The CEC (Careers and Enterprise Company) has no set requirements from DfE (Department for Education) to formally assess and report on the effectiveness of career guidance. The company has produced a self-assessment Compass Tool for schools and colleges to monitor and report on their own performance.

In June 2019, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) published its People and Skills: Getting Young People “Work Ready” Report. It cited the CBI 2018 Report on Education and Skills that said 44% of employers surveyed by the CBI felt that young people leaving school, college or university were not work ready, and that changes should made to widen the curriculum and better nurture character traits such as resilience.

Aspires2 based at University College London is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council to conduct a major longitudinal research project studying young people’s science and career aspirations.

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) on behalf of the Department for Education have conducted a RCT (Randomised controlled trial) investigating school pupils’ usage of and response to careers information using a self-persuasion theoretical framework that was previously tried and tested on Army participants.

The Institute for Employment Research, Warwick University develops studies on career guidance services, labour market realities, work-based opportunities, public policies, employment and employability, and HEIs graduates and their integration on the labour market. It also leads on LMI for All on behalf of the DfE. Further information can be found here.

The International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby, produces inter alia academic and practitioner journal articles. For instance: Everitt, J.; Neary, S.; Delgardo, M.A.; Clark, L. (2008). Personal Guidance. What Works? London: The Careers & Enterprise Company. http://hdl.handle.net/10545/623154. See also the Centre’s publications here.

The Refugee Assessment and Guidance Unit (RAGU) from London Metropolitan University develops research studies on migration, integration process, social inclusion, social justice, human rights and provides support for asylum-seekers, ethnic entrepreneurs, women.

Education and Employers Research a leading charity in London undertakes high quality robust research on education and employer engagement that informs education policy and practice. They also collaborate with other leading research institutions and ensure that research produced by academics around the world is easily accessible to practitioners, employers and policy-makers. Further information on the publications produced, can be found here.

CFE Research undertakes a wide range of impact assessment reports, including many innovative studies on careers provision.

DMH Associates investigated returns on investment from national and/or area-based contracts. For instance see Careers Advice for Adults: £9 saved for every £1 spent.

A large amount of data on graduate employment is collected and published in various formats such as the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, Graduate Outcomes Survey and the Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO) dataset.

 

Sources

Aspires 2. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/departments-and-centres/departments/education-practice-and-society/aspires-2

Behavioural Insights Team. https://www.bi.team/

Careers and Enterprise Company (2018). What Works Series. https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/blog-category/what-works

Careers and Enterprise Company (2019). Compass Tool. https://compass.careersandenterprise.co.uk/info

CBI (2019). Getting young people ‘work ready’: Our vision for how education should prepare young people for the modern world. https://web.archive.org/web/20191223143439/https:/www.cbi.org.uk/media/2960/cbi_work-readiness.pdf

DMH Associates (2018). Careers advice for adults: £9 saved for every £1 spent. http://dmhassociates.org/careers-advice-for-adults-9-saved-for-every-1-spent

Education and Employers Research. https://www.educationandemployers.org/research-main/

Everitt, J.; Neary, S.; Delgardo, M.A.; Clark, L. (2008). Personal Guidance. What Works? London: The Careers & Enterprise Company. http://hdl.handle.net/10545/623154

H.M. Government (2019). Graduate outcomes (LEO): outcomes in 2016 to 2017.  https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/graduate-outcomes-leo-outcomes-in-2016-to-2017

HESA (2020). Graduate outcomes. https://www.graduateoutcomes.ac.uk/

HESA (2020). Statistical bulletins and first releases. https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/statistical-first-releases

Institute for Employment Research. Warwick University (2020). Research. https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/ier/research/

International Centre for Guidance Studies. University of Derby. https://www.derby.ac.uk/research/about-our-research/centres-groups/icegs/

Refugee Assessment and Guidance Unit, London Metropolitan University. https://www.londonmet.ac.uk/services-and-facilities/refugee-assessment-and-guidance-unit/

ICT in lifelong guidance

The National Careers Service emphasises the importance of digital first and creating customer friendly tools that can support people to navigate their career journey more independently. Thus, supporting customers to develop increased digital career management skills. It has developed an online continuous professional development (CPD) platform COACH which offers practice related bite-sized modules to support staff in the delivery of the contract. This is in addition to CPD provided by National Careers Service Prime Contractors who deliver the service regionally (ICCDPP, 2019).

It provides essential information on job and sector growth areas through a job profile database currently containing 800 files. Also, a job market information section includes details about skills shortages, important industries in each region and what the user can expect to earn in different job sectors. This is augmented by Real Life Stories about how clients can take the next step in their career and life. Direct advice and guidance is provided through a combination of highly trained (Level 7 qualified) and para-professionals (Level 3 to 6) careers advisers, available through a web chat facility and by email. The National Careers Service telephone helpline service managed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) does not publish information on usage, except the report of 2019 in which it is stated: "much of our young people activity is via classroom sessions hosted by the National Careers Helpline and is captured in our headline all-age statistics of 108,000 customers undertaking over 230,000 activities in 2017-18" NOTE: Secondary pupil numbers are expected to rise by 14.7% over the next 10 years. The data shows England's secondary school population is just under 3million in 2018.

LMI for All is an open data portal, which connects and standardises existing sources labour market information. The ultimate aim is to inform careers decisions. The purpose of LMI for All is to make labour market data freely available to the developer community, rather than to end-users. The portal makes data freely accessible via a single access point. It allows creative developers to access data with a view to bringing these to life for varying audiences, including individuals, careers practitioners, and employers. This includes information from two key products the Labour Force Survey and the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings; additional data from the Employer Skills Survey and Working Futures. It also includes vacancy data from Universal JobMatch, and data on skills, interests and abilities from the US O*NET database. The data available from LMI for All are organised around the Standard Occupational Classification. This system classifies all jobs into 369 detailed categories, according to the tasks that are undertaken, and the level and nature of the skills and qualifications required to do the job. The data within LMI for All are all available under an open government license, this means that individuals and organisations are welcome to use the data for any purpose, including commercial use and in formats that enable re-computation for one’s own purposes. To increase outreach an own Twitter account is maintained.

CareersBoxTV is a free online library of careers related film, news and information. Its aim is to deliver the right information at the right time to careers advisers and job seekers. The service provides informative films in the following areas: Automotive & Transport, Creative & Media, Education, Health & Care, Energy & Engineering, Legal & Financial, Medical & Science, Office, IT & Telecoms, Process & Manufacturing, Public Sector, Retail and Sports, Leisure & Environment. Covering a vast range of careers including film, TV, publishing, music, art and design (to name but a few) the opportunities for a rewarding career are wide-ranging. In these areas, CareersBoxTV works in cooperation with different partners in order to offer the best service possible.

icould providing career inspiration and information for young people through free access to over 1000 personal video stories, detailed job information, plus practical tips, insight and advice. This is managed by the Education and Employers charity, London (2019). Its users span the UK and beyond, and include schools, colleges and training providers, careers advisors, teachers and parents (reaching over 500,000 people a month through the innovative approach to content). icould can be discovered through internet while operates a YouTube channel, and via content-feed to partner sites including TES Resources, TES Growing ambitions, Skills Development Scotland, Careers Wales and the Frog Schools Learning Platform. The website includes career videos introducing jobs to interested people and personal career stories, detailed information about specific jobs, articles about apprenticeships and other career-related topics and a focus on ideas and information around key decisions in the labour market.

NESTA has launched a major £5.75 million CareerTech Challenge (2020) to encourage bold solutions to improve people’s working lives and unlock employment opportunities for the future. The Challenge aims right tools and technologies to enable people to envision their futures.

The University of Reading has developed an ICT career guidance tool to provide career support for the undecided students, the Career Unlocker. On the website, they have access to six different sections; each section has five online cards with statements about possible barriers. Student interaction with the online tool has phases.

The University of London established a six-weeks Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Career and Employability skills. Accessible for students from the University of London and for those enrolled on Coursera platform, the course uses a transdisciplinary approach, presents the information using short video materials, exercises, quizzes, readings and self-assessments. Each week focuses on a specific skill or set of skills:

  1. week 1: What do you want? – Self Awareness
  2. week 2: What can you offer? – Skills Awareness
  3. week 3: Are you ready to find success? – Career Readiness
  4. week 4: How do you express yourself? – Articulating Your Experiences
  5. week 5: What impact do you make? – Making a Good Impression in Person
  6. week 6: How do you build fruitful relationships? – Networking Online and in Person

The British Council has developed a collaboration with Right Management and focused on introducing an online career tool. This tool includes all the practices developed by the Human Resources department, increases the awareness regarding one’s career and one’s responsibility for its professional development, by keeping in mind the cultural diversity of 8,000 employees from offices all over the world. Using the online tool, employees were able to analyse their goals and needs, to become more involved in their professional development and to participate at online career workshops.

Learndirect provides a vast variety of online career-related courses and training.

Youth Connexions Hertfordshire, in collaboration with Hertfordshire County Council and Liveperson, has develop a text-based web chat career support service for young people. The web chat is accessible on https://www.ychertfordshire.org, a local webpage for young people. The aim of the web chat is to provide access to offer free of charge and rapid individual career guidance for young people. They send a message and a Youth Connexions Personal Adviser will provide the answer. The web chat is available online only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but young people can send their emails and receive the answers during the other days.

The Youth Employment NEWS E-Magazine offers its members the chance to contribute and invites stories, case studies, interviews and news from all organisations and young people outside of its membership. Bringing together this information, advice, tips, stories from around the UK helps young people to see what opportunities are available and inspires them about the world of work. It also offers insight to employers on the benefits of hiring young people and what funding is available for youth employment or internship programmes. A team of youth volunteers operate the magazine and create the content, so the main cost is design software. The magazine is managed and published by Youth Employment UK CIC and is offered free to readers as a pdf. ICT tools and ICT solutions have been developed to provide career guidance in schools, universities, at the workplace, and at home.

 

Sources

British Council. https://www.britishcouncil.org/

CareersBoxTV. https://www.careersbox.co.uk/

Education and Employers. https://www.educationandemployers.org/about-the-charity/

Education and Skills Funding Agency (2019). Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) annual report and accounts 2018 to 2019. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/819926/P3297_ESFA_Annual_Report_FINAL_Web_single_pages.pdf

Education and Skills Funding Agency. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/education-and-skills-funding-agency

ICCDPP (2019). Leading career development services into an uncertain future: Ensuring access, integration and innovation. Country paper: England. https://www.kompetansenorge.no/globalassets/iccdpp/england-country-paper-iccdpp2019.pdf

icould. https://icould.com/

Learndirect. https://www.learndirect.com/

LMI for All. https://www.lmiforall.org.uk/

MyMOOC (2020). Enhance Your Career and Employability Skills. https://www.my-mooc.com/en/mooc/career/

National Careers Service. https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/

Nesta (2020). CareerTech Challenge. https://www.nesta.org.uk/project/careertech-challenge/

University of Reading. https://www.reading.ac.uk/careers/careerunlocker/

Youth Connexions Hertfordshire. https://www.ychertfordshire.org/

Youth Employment UK CIC. https://www.youthemployment.org.uk/

Training and qualifications

The Career Development Institute (CDI) has developed a register of practitioners to assure the enhancement of career practitioners’ competences across the UK. Career practitioners have two options to achieve the skills and the qualifications to provide career guidance services: either through postgraduate academic studies or through competence-based workplace accreditation. Those interested in acquiring such a diploma or certificate have access to specialised higher education equivalent training leading to a Qualification in Career Guidance (QCG). Using a modular approach, this training includes five modules, as follows:

  1. module 1 – The Framework for Professional Practice;
  2. module 2 – Career Guidance Theory, Policy and Practice;
  3. module 3 – Partnership Working;
  4. module 4 – Working with clients in learning organisations and Guidance (CEG) within learning organisations;
  5. module 5 – Using Opportunity Information.

The QCG and Master's level programmes are provided by the following institutions:

  1. Centre for Career and Personal Development, Canterbury Christ Church University;
  2. Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University;
  3. School of Education and Professional Development, University of Huddersfield;
  4. International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby; and
  5. Nottingham Trent University.

Some of the above-mentioned higher education institutions also offer Doctorate (PhD) programmes. The CDI has launched an Apprenticeship route for individuals to be trained as Careers Advisers.

Careers Leaders training is supported through 14 high-quality training providers delivering training offline and online, underpinned by funded training bursaries to 1,300 Careers Leaders in schools and colleges across England.

The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services develops career guidance training within higher education institutions.

 

Sources

Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services. https://www.agcas.org.uk/

Career Development Institute (2020). UK Register of Career Development Professionals. https://www.thecdi.net/Professional-Register-

Career Development Institute. https://www.thecdi.net/Home

Careers Leaders Training. https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/online-careers-leader-training-course

Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (2018). Career Development Professional. https://www.thecdi.net/write/Documents/HA_CDP_final_Standard_-_published_version.pdf

Funding career guidance

Funding for careers guidance comes mainly from the Department for Education and/or the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, it will no longer receive structural funding (which is worth about £2.1 billion per year). The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Further information can be found here.

Funding for careers support services varies significantly across England. Government funding for careers support services has reduced significantly since 2012. For example, the National Careers Service budget in 2012 was circa £105m was mostly for adult career guidance. Over the next three years, funding for area-based Prime Contractors working with priority groups is circa £45m.

The National Careers Service Area-Based contracts (2014) totalled £75,400,000 across 12 geographical areas. From 1st October 2018, the contract value is approx. £40,000,490 to cover nine new geographical boundaries i.e. there are fewer but larger regions. Over a four-year period, the budgets have shrunk by 46%. 

The Careers & Enterprise Company receives a Grant Letter from the Department for Education for the purpose of providing services to transform careers and enterprise provision in schools and colleges so that young people get the inspiration and guidance they need for success in working life. In 2014, it received £20 million in start-up funding for 2015/16, including £5 million as investment funding to stimulate good practice across England. In 2018/19, £30.2 million was provided in government grant, which fell to £24.3 million in 2019/20.

In December 2018, the CEC was allocated an extra £2m from Government to inform and support Career-related Learning in Primary Schools. It set up 12 small scale incubator projects and seven larger scale careers programmes in September 2019 (see also Teach First in England). 

The separately funded National Careers Telephone Helpline provides an all-age careers service which can begin with telephone support to young people age 13+, though the numbers of young people accessing the service is low e.g. less than 1%. The actual full breakdown of usage is not in the public domain. 

In October 2018, government allocated £100 million for the first phase of a new National Retraining Scheme (NRS) and includes “a new careers guidance service with expert advice to help people identify work opportunities in their area, and state-of-the-art courses combining online learning with traditional classroom teaching to develop key transferable skills.” This initiative is led by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The exact details of the allocated budget have yet to be released by Treasury; however, there is a commitment to introducing the NRS in this Parliament. The Scheme needs to respond to structural trends, which will impact on the labour market and drive the need for lifelong training e.g. automation, longer working lives and productivity challenges. The target group is adults aged 24+, who are in work and don't have a degree, with particular focus on occupations at risk of automation. Work is underway in the form of Career Learning pilots including 'Cost and Outreach pilots' in five local areas of England. These will provide valuable information on how successful marketing and subsidies are in recruiting learners.

Thirty-one projects are also being developed through the Flexible Learning Fund, which is testing how to incentivise accessible training courses for adults. The Construction Skills Fund was launched in June 2018 and will support employer-led approaches to construction training over the next two years. The intention is to invest in EdTEch and AI enabled learning for adults. This will focus on how technology can improve training outcomes for individuals who are likely to form part of the NRS target group. The role of Union Learning representatives is a key feature within the forthcoming NRS (further information can be found here).

Some TUC policy and practice tasks include:

  1. government to set ambition to increase investment in workforce development to the EU average in the next two years;
  2. boost funding for the adult FE and Skills System and develop integrated industrial and skills strategies;
  3. introduce a targeted retraining programme (NRS);
  4. establish a right to mid-life career review and improved access to guidance on training;
  5. establish a new lifelong learning account providing the opportunity for people to learn throughout their working lives;
  6. give unions a proper voice in the apprenticeship and skills system.

 

Sources

Careers and Enterprise Company (2019). Primary Fund. https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/investment/active-funds/primary-fund

Confederation of British Industry. https://www.cbi.org.uk/

Construction Industry Training Board (2018). Construction Skills Fund. https://www.citb.co.uk/about-citb/partnerships-and-initiatives/construction-skills-fund/

Department for Education (2017). Further education: flexible learning fund. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-education-flexible-learning-fund

Department for Education (2019). National retraining scheme. Policy paper. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-retraining-scheme/national-retraining-scheme

Department for Education. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education

Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/education-and-skills-funding-agency

Education and Skills Funding Agency (2018). Career learning pilot technical guidance 2018 to 2019. Version 1. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/710480/Career_learning_pilot_technical_guidance.pdf 

Kashefpakdel, E.; Rehill, J.; Hughes, D. (2018). What works? Career-related learning in primary schools. https://www.educationandemployers.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/1145_what_works_primary_v7_digital-1.pdf

Kashefpakdel, E.; Rehill, J.; Hughes, D. (2019). Career-related learning in primary: The role of primary teachers and schools in preparing children for the future. https://www.teachfirst.org.uk/sites/default/files/2019-01/edemp_careerprimary-report_jan2019_v5_indv.pdf

National Careers Service. https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/

Trade Union Congress. https://www.tuc.org.uk/

Career guidance for school pupils

Under recent legislative changes, schools must do more to enlighten pupils about work and study opportunities, especially less traditional routes i.e. The Baker Clause. Schools are already required to give training companies access to their pupils, and from September 2018 they must publish details of their careers programmes, as well as having a named “careers leader” in place. By the end of 2020, schools will also be obliged to offer every pupil at least seven “meaningful encounters” with employers over the course of their school career. They must also meet all eight of the government-endorsed “Gatsby benchmarks” of good careers education. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) research looked at total school spending per pupil between 2009/10 and 2017/18 and found there had been an eight per cent cut in real terms. While in 2009 the per-pupil spend was £6,380, by 2017 this had shrunk to £5,870.

National Careers Services area-based contractors no longer have a remit to deliver local face-to-face or group-based careers support services to schools, academies, colleges or vulnerable young people. The National Careers Service has developed an online CPD platform COACH which offers practice related bite-sized modules to support staff in the delivery of the contract. This is in addition to CPD provided by National Careers Service Prime Contractors who deliver the service regionally (ICCDPP, 2019) (for further information please see Hughes 2019 (In Press) A new Careers Advancement Service).

Some examples of practical Careers and Enterprise (CEC) initiatives include: funded projects to develop case studies to showcase successful and affordable delivery of Gatsby Benchmark 8 - providing personal guidance. Careers Leaders training supported through 14 high quality Careers Leader providers to deliver the training offline and online, underpinned by funded training bursaries to 1,300 Careers Leaders in schools and colleges across England. The CEC is not a direct delivery organisation, instead it adopts a strategic focus. 20 Careers hubs, set up by existing local enterprise partnerships, are intended to help schools meet those requirements, and will offer bursaries to train careers leaders in schools. Career Hubs consist of up to 40 local schools and colleges working together with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to improve careers education for young people in a region with an allocated £5 million over a two-year period to support them (2018-2020). With the introduction of the Careers Leader role in schools and colleges the UK Career Development Institute (CDI) is one of a number or organisations approved to deliver training for Career Leaders (Certificate in Careers Leadership).

Other selected examples of career guidance initiatives include:

Barclays LifeSkills works with teachers, parents and businesses to help young people: build a job-hunting toolbox, identify skills and gain experience.

Starthelps schools and colleges to meet their statutory duties around careers guidance, combining the most comprehensive source of information with a personalised student experience and tracking capabilities to help teachers monitor student progress and engagement. Schools can register to become a Start School and deliver effective and consistent careers education, from Year 7 to Year 13.

Brightside is a charity that believes that every young person should be able to fulfil their potential, regardless of background. The project's mission is to provide young people that need it most, with knowledge, support and connections so that they can make confident and informed decisions that enable them to fulfil their potential. According to their website, Brightside’s online mentoring can:

  1. give young people access to crucial support and advice from trained mentors
  2. offer a way for more volunteers to get involved and share their skills
  3. enable you to keep in touch and monitor the progress of young people on your project.

These online mentoring schemes, as they are described on their website, are “flexible, cost-effective and easy to use, connecting young people with inspirational role models and trusted sources of information so they can develop the knowledge and skills they need, to make a big difference to their lives and chances in the real world. This initiative has over 13 years’ experience and working with over 15,000 young people a year, administers bespoke online mentoring to connect the young people who need it most with trusted and experienced mentors, to develop their skills and broaden their horizons.”

Career Ready. Since 2002, this organisation has connected employers with schools and colleges to provide young people aged 14 to 18 with mentors, internships, masterclasses, and employer-led activities that prepare them for the world of work. According to its website, in 2018, its network of 5,500+ volunteers from 400 employers helped to transform the lives of 30,000 young people in 300+ schools & colleges.

Founder4Schools. Born in 2011, Founders4Schools began as an extension of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK as a manually curated idea to bring inspiring entrepreneurs to universities and schools. According to its website, the feedback from parents, educators and students was so powerful, that it was decided to think about how to use technology common in other industries to the education industry. Its ‘Our story’ page reports that  by 2013, spurred on by encouragement from Government, industry and the educational sector the CEO collaborated with LinkedIn, edubase, duedil to create a tech platform that supercharged educators to create student-employer encounters as easily as buying a book on Amazon (Founder4schools, 2020). In January 2017 Founders4schools launched an innovative WorkFinder app, that assists individuals in exploring the world of work by discovering career opportunities.

 

Sources

Barclays Life Skills. https://barclayslifeskills.com/

Brightside. https://www.thebrightsidetrust.org/

Career Development Institute (n.d.). Certificate in Careers Leadership. https://www.thecdi.net/CDI-Academy-Training

Career Development Institute. https://www.thecdi.net/Home

Career Ready. https://careerready.org.uk/about-us

Careers & Enterprise Company (n.d.). Career Hubs. https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/about-us/our-network/careers-hubs

Careers and Enterprise Company (2019). Personal Guidance Fund .https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/funding/personal-guidance-fund

Department for Education (2018). The Baker Clause. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017/19/contents

Founder4schools (2017). WorkFinder app. https://www.workfinder.com/

Founder4schools. https://www.founders4schools.org.uk/about/

ICCDPP (2019). Leading career development services into an uncertain future: Ensuring access, integration and innovation. Country paper: England. https://www.kompetansenorge.no/globalassets/iccdpp/england-country-paper-iccdpp2019.pdf

Institute for Fiscal Studies. https://www.ifs.org.uk/

Start. https://www.startprofile.com/about-start/

Guidance for VET participants

Career guidance for vocational education and training (VET) participants is very limited and patchy across England. Many VET students may receive career guidance in colleges and/or universities. The other alternatives are National Careers Service telephone helpline or Jobcentre Plus.

The National Apprenticeship Service (the term apprenticeship is protected in law, as announced by Government on 14 June 2015) is designed to strengthen their reputation, help working people and ensure apprenticeships are recognised as a career path equal to higher education. The goal is for apprenticeships to be given equal legal treatment as degrees; a commitment to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020; and public-sector bodies will be set targets to help reach 3 million. A national Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education was established by government alongside a new Apprenticeship Levy. Nearly two years since its introduction many employers affected by the Levy have suggested ways to improve its application. Government introduced flexibilities in late 2018. There are demands at a local and regional level for pooling Levy contributions to enable more strategic planning, extending the two-year limit to spend the Levy against standards which have only just been approved or are still in development, using the Levy more flexibly including greater investment in pre-apprenticeship training; and local areas influencing unspent Levy money and non-Levy Funds. There are growing concerns about high dropout rates in apprentices not completing their end-point of assessment (32% drop out rate). In some cases, young people are falling through cracks in the system in the absence of a highly visible and accessible all-age careers service.

 

Please see the description of VET system in the United Kingdom here.

 

Sources

Cedefop; UK NARIC (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: United Kingdom [From Cedefop; ReferNet. Vocational education and training in Europe database]. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/tools/vet-in-europe/systems/united-kingdom

Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/

Jobcentre Plus. https://www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus

National Apprenticeship Service. https://www.gov.uk/topic/further-education-skills/apprenticeships

National Careers Service. https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/

Guidance for higher education students

Universities are largely autonomous institutions that are mostly able to devise and deliver curriculums as they choose. Legislation relating to higher education, therefore, is limited largely to the establishment and governance of higher education institutions and the provision of financial resources to institutions and students.

As autonomous institutions, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are responsible for organising their own provision of career guidance and counselling.

There are 141 HE institutions (HEIs) registered in England, of which over 100 are full-scale publicly funded universities (including the Open University), the remainder being specialist, postgraduate, or privately funded institutions. This is based on registration data covering the transitional regulatory period 1st April 2018 to 31st July 2019. Of the 141 institutions, 132 were publicly funded and 9 privately funded (further information can be found here).

Although courses may be offered in several different educational institutions, degrees and other recognised awards may only be awarded by institutions specifically authorised to do so.

In 2017-18, over £8 billion was committed to support 1.2 million UK undergraduate students in English HE institutions. The introduction of £1,000 fees in 1998 and their increase to £3,000 in 2006, accompanied by the availability of income-contingent tuition fee loans, created a demand-led system in which students are lent the money to make a choice between universities (whether or not to go to university) and universities compete to recruit them. The intention was to create a market and the principle was taken a stage further in 2012, when fee caps were trebled to £9,000, and in 2015 when student number caps were lifted. Further information can be found here.

The 2017 Higher Education and Research Act replaced multiple overlapping HE regulatory systems with a new single regulator. This is called the Office for Students (OfS) a new regulator – which became fully operational on 1st August 2019. OfS has powers to intervene on a risk-based basis with the objective of promoting competition and choice and looking after the student interest. The Office for Students (OfS) is developing and delivering the OfS student information, advice and guidance strategy, improving ability to make higher education choices (further information can be found here).

A Unistats website (England and Wales only) allows prospective HE students to better compare not only courses and institutions, but the outcomes students achieve. It provides official data for undergraduate courses on each university and college’s satisfaction scores in a National Student Survey, jobs and salaries after study and other key information for prospective students.

There are no statutory requirements relating to the provision of careers advice in higher education: the provision of careers advice and guidance for students is a matter for individual Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to determine. However, all HEIs have their own careers service, staffed by appropriately trained professionals. Careers services offer a wide range of support for students including:

  1. careers advice, including graduate placements, careers fairs and further study opportunities
  2. CV workshops
  3. networking/mentoring opportunities
  4. coaching on interview techniques
  5. support with job applications and employability skills.

A significant number of university degree courses now include employability skills, and some include compulsory careers sessions. Many institutions also help students to develop the ‘soft skills’ which employers seek (including effective communication, acting as a team player, creative/critical thinking, and problem-solving) through extra-curricular initiatives.

In many cases, students can still access their university careers service up to three years after graduation. Some universities allow lifelong assess.

The guidance activities offered can be categorised as:

  1. core careers services: over 90% of FE institutions offer careers services;
  2. value added service: run by over half of careers services and growing areas of activity as services diversify and careers and employability agenda continue to increase;
  3. bespoke activities: offered by smaller numbers of services, often responding to particular local needs and contexts, for example, employability partnerships with local businesses and/or innovation projects commissioned by a wide variety of agencies, including government departments.

There is significant diversity in delivery methods, e.g. skype appointments, online seminars. Careers Advisers in England’s universities are often referred to as Careers Consultants.

The UK Quality Code for Higher Education provides guidance and ‘indicators of sound practice’ in careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) for HEIs. Further information can be found here.

The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) is the UK-wide professional body for careers and employability professionals working with higher education students and graduates and prospective entrants to higher education. AGCAS provides support and training for professionals in the sector, with the aim of promoting and ensuring excellence in service delivery. According to its dedicated website, AGCAS includes over 160 HE careers services as members, representing approx. 3,200 staff. The AGCAS process is presented as including:

  1. a Code of Ethics which helps members maintain the highest professional standards. The Code of Ethics identifies the professional attitudes and behaviours expected of members and provides guidance to help members recognise and develop these;
  2. the Membership Quality Standard which outlines and demonstrates the levels of professionalism with which member services fulfil their purpose;
  3. work towards external kitemarks/quality standards, e.g. the matrix Standard, Investors in People;
  4. recognition that each individual university has its own strategic vision, plan and priorities, with services customised and delivered accordingly.

The Higher Education Career Services Unit (HESCU) is an independent research charity specialising in higher education and graduate employment. This UK-wide organisation supports careers advisory services as they guide students and graduates through university and into the labour market. Its website Prospects provides careers information and services to students, graduates, university careers services, employers and others.

 

Sources

Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (n.d.). AGCAS Code of Ethics. https://www.agcas.org.uk/AGCAS-Member-Code-of-Ethics

Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (n.d.). AGCAS Membership Quality Standard. https://www.agcas.org.uk/AGCAS-Membership-Quality-Standard

Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services. https://www.agcas.org.uk/

Department for Education (2019). Independent panel report to the Review of Post-18 Education and Funding. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805127/Review_of_post_18_education_and_funding.pdf

Eurydice (2019). Higher Education Institution (HEI). https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/content/glossary-77_en#HigherEducationInstitution(HEI)

Higher Education Career Services Unit (HESCU). https://hecsu.ac.uk/

Investors in People. https://www.investorsinpeople.com/our-story/

Office for Students (2018). Developing and delivering the OfS student information, advice and guidance strategy – improving ability to make higher education choice. https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/6013a04d-b11b-4f44-bf36-89b4c5291e84/iag-paper_final.pdf

Office for Students. https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/

Parliament of the United Kingdom (2017). Higher Education and Research Act. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017/29/contents/enacted

Prospects. http://www.prospects.ac.uk/

Secretary of State for Education (2019). Independent panel report to the Review of Post-18 Education and Funding. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805127/Review_of_post_18_education_and_funding.pdf

The matrix Standard. https://matrixstandard.com/

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (2018). UK Quality Code for Higher Education. https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/the-existing-uk-quality-code

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (2018). UK Quality Code for Higher Education. Part B: Assuring and Enhancing Academic Quality. Chapter B4: Enabling Student Development and Achievement. https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/quality-code/chapter-b4_-enabling-student-development-and-achievement.pdf?sfvrsn=100f781_8

Unistats. https://discoveruni.gov.uk/

Guidance for adult learners

The National Careers Service is the main conduit for providing career guidance; however, the set priority groups are quite restrictive particularly for people in work. A new National Retraining Scheme was announced in Autumn 2018. This is designed to support adults to retrain into better jobs, and be ready for future changes to the economy, including those brought about by automation.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has responsibility for the Public Employment Service delivered through Jobcentre Plus (JCP). National Careers Service providers are co-located within Jobcentre Plus. JCP has been working closely with the National Careers Service on a Fuller Working Lives initiative to support older workers to remain in the workforce, retrain and to work with employers to recruit older workers.

Numbers of adults in further education has halved (down two million) since 2005/2006. The number of adults taking out Advanced Learner Loans has fallen for a third year in a row, and a major Social Mobility report (2019) reveals that the poorest adults with the lowest qualifications are the least likely to access training despite needing it most. The Government is focusing on this policy area and has taken steps to Devolving the Adult Education budget. The European Social Fund has been a vital resource for communities to match fund skills and employment provision. The post-Brexit successor UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will be a key driver for investing in future provision. The National Retraining Scheme highlights a commitment to a new career guidance service. There lies a major challenge ahead - how does England ensure different parts of the skills system dock or align with one another to meet the needs of adults throughout their working lives? The future goal is to create more co-designed opportunities across places which residents can enter, retain and progress in learning and work, underpinned by access to high quality lifelong guidance.

 

Sources

Advanced Learner Loans. https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan

Department for Education (2019). National Retraining Scheme. Policy paper. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-retraining-scheme/national-retraining-scheme

Department for Work and Pensions (2017). Fuller Working Lives: a partnership approach. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fuller-working-lives-a-partnership-approach

Department for Work and Pensions (2019). Fuller Working Lives programme: 2 years on https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/fuller-working-lives-2-years-on.

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Education and Skills Funding Agency (2019). Devolving the Adult Education budget. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/devolution-of-the-adult-education-budget-effective-from-1-august-2019

Local government Association (2019). UK Shared Prosperity Fund - House of Commons. https://www.local.gov.uk/parliament/briefings-and-responses/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-house-commons-5-september-2019

National Careers Service. https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/

Social Mobility Commission (2019). State of the Nation 2018-19: Social Mobility in Great Britain. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/798404/SMC_State_of_the_Nation_Report_2018-19.pdf

Guidance for young people at risk

The law requires all young people in England to continue in education or training until at least their 18th birthday, although in practice the vast majority of young people continue until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18. Local authorities have a critical role to play in supporting at risk young people to access education and training – and therefore in understanding the characteristics and current activity of the young people in their area. They have a broad range of duties to encourage, enable and assist young people to participate in education or training. Specifically these are: (a) to secure sufficient suitable education and training provision for all young people in their area who are over compulsory school age but under 19 or aged 19 to 25 and for whom an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is maintained; (b) to fulfil this, local authorities need to have a strategic overview of the provision available in their area and to identify and resolve gaps in provision; and (c) to make available to all young people aged 13-19 and to those between 20 and 25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), support that will encourage, enable or assist them to participate in education or training. Tracking young people’s participation is a key element of these duties. Local authorities are required to collect information about young people so that those who are not participating, or are NEET, can be identified and given support to re-engage (further information can be found here).

The Prince's Trust, a member of Youth Business International (YBI), provides practical and financial support, develops key workplace skills such as confidence and motivation of 13 to 30-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law. Programmes offered by Prince’s Trust include:

  1. the Enterprise Program, which provides money and support to help young people start up in business;
  2. the Team Program, a 12-week personal development course, which includes a residential week, offers work experience, qualifications, practical skills, community projects;
  3. Get intos, short courses offering intensive training and experience in a specific sector to help young people get a job;
  4. Development Awards, enable young people to access education, training or work through grants;
  5. xl clubs aim to improve attendance, motivation and social skills of 13 to 19-year-olds at risk of truanting, exclusion and underachievement by giving them a say in their education.

The Prince’s Trust has helped more than 700,000 young people since 1976 and supports 100 more each working day. More than three in four young people that have received services last year moved into work, education or training.

Young Enterprise is a national charity that motivates young people to succeed in the changing world of work by equipping them with work, skills, knowledge and confidence through a wide range of enterprise activities from primary through tertiary schooling.

 

Sources

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Department for Education (2019). Education Health and Care Plan. https://www.gov.uk/children-with-special-educational-needs/extra-SEN-help

Department for Education (2019). NEET and participation: local authority figures. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/neet-and-participation-local-authority-figures

Prince’s Trust. https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/

Young Enterprise https://www.young-enterprise.org.uk/

Guidance for other groups

CIPD research (2017) examined the enablers and blockers to black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employee career progression in the UK to inform where action needs to be focused. The significant lack of racial diversity at the top of organisations is obvious.

The responsibility of career guidance provision for offenders and ex-offenders has been transferred to Prison Governors. Further information can be found in the review of prison education and training in England, as well as in the new international literature review: education and training in prisons.

The Learning & Work Institute’s (2019) report Healthy, Wealthy & Wise: Implications for Workforce Development recommended a number of ways adult learning strategies could be improved to maximise impact, including a new Careers Advancement Service.

 

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Hughes, D.; Borbély-Pecze, T.B. (2012). Youth Unemployment: a crisis in our midst. The role of lifelong guidance policies in addressing labour supply and demand. Jyväskylä. ELGPN concept note; No. 2. https://cica.org.au/wp-content/uploads/elgpn_concept_note2_youth_unemployment.pdf

Inspiring the Future. https://www.inspiringthefuture.org/how-inspiring-the-future-works/

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Ipsos Mori (2018). National Careers Service: Customer Satisfaction and Progression Annual Report. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/809683/FINAL_NCS_Customer_Sat_and_Prog_Annual_Report_-Year_7_report_v2.pdf

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Kashefpakdel, E.; Rehill, J.; Hughes, D. (2018). What works? Career-related learning in primary schools. https://www.educationandemployers.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/1145_what_works_primary_v7_digital-1.pdf

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National Careers Service Skills Health Check. https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/skills-health-check/home

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Prince’s Trust. https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/

Prospects. http://www.prospects.ac.uk/

Quality in Careers Standard. https://www.qualityincareers.org.uk/

Refugee Assessment and Guidance Unit, London Metropolitan University. https://www.londonmet.ac.uk/services-and-facilities/refugee-assessment-and-guidance-unit/

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START. https://www.startprofile.com/

Teach First in England. https://www.teachfirst.org.uk/

Tenner Challenge. https://www.young-enterprise.org.uk/programmes/tenner-challenge/

The Careers and Enterprise Company (2018). Careers and enterprise provision in England’s secondary schools and colleges: State of the Nation. http://www.qualityincareers.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/state_of_the_nation_2018_report_1118.pdf

The Careers and Enterprise Company (2018). Top Ten Grant Investments. http://dmhassociates.org/careers-and-enterprise-company-top-ten-grant-investments

The Careers and Enterprise Company (n.d.). What Works Series. https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/news/new-what-works-research-series-launch-october

The Careers and Enterprise Company. https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/

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The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (2018). UK Quality Code for Higher Education. https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/the-existing-uk-quality-code

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (2018). UK Quality Code for Higher Education. Part B: Assuring and Enhancing Academic Quality. Chapter B4: Enabling Student Development and Achievement. https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/quality-code/chapter-b4_-enabling-student-development-and-achievement.pdf?sfvrsn=100f781_8

Trade Union Congress. https://www.tuc.org.uk/

Unionlearn. https://www.unionlearn.org.uk/

Unistats. https://discoveruni.gov.uk/

University of Reading. https://www.reading.ac.uk/careers/careerunlocker/

Watts, A.G. (2001). The role of information and communication technologies in an integrated career information and guidance system. Paper prepared for the OECD Career Guidance Policy Review. http://www.oecd.org/education/research/2698249.pdf

West Midlands Combined Authority. https://www.wmca.org.uk/news

World of Work certificate. http://www.aqu.cat/doc/doc_17848323_1.pdf

York Cares. https://www.yorkcares.co.uk/

Young Enterprise https://www.young-enterprise.org.uk/

Youth Connexions Hertfordshire. https://www.ychertfordshire.org/

Youth Employment NEWS E-Magazine. https://youthemploymentmag.net/

Youth Employment UK CIC. https://www.youthemployment.org.uk/

Country-specific report details