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Careers Strategy: Making The Most Of Everyone’S Skills And Talents What Does It Mean For Advisors?


As you may be aware the Department for Education published the Careers Strategy in December (The government’s plan for raising the quality of careers provision in England). This plan is in action now and goes through to 2020.

It can be found here:

‘We want to create a stronger, fairer society in which people from all backgrounds can realise their potential. A thriving careers system, that is accessible to everyone, is at the heart of our focus on social mobility.’ (Page 3)

They key points that affect you are:
• This strategy will dramatically change the way careers advice is provided in schools, colleges, universities as well as in the public sector.
• There will be a higher demand for qualified advisers starting immediately and as the strategy continues this will only increase each year.
• The Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development will be the most desirable qualification; as it has recommended CDI’s UK Register of Career Development Professionals to identify qualified practitioners (and the level 6 is required to get on the register).

The document is thirty five pages but I have summarised the key points affecting advisors below with excerpts-
‘Our careers provision must be world class to help people understand the range of opportunities available to them in today’s economy and acquire the skills and qualifications they need to succeed in the workplaces of the future. But for too long, careers guidance has not been given the status it deserves. This strategy sets out our ambitions and plans to expand the quality and quantity of provision. We want to transform the careers system so that everyone can benefit from support of the highest calibre.’ (Page 3)
So exciting changes are ahead as the importance of qualified, informed and skilful careers professionals has been realised and is being a crucial part of this new strategy.

So what does it mean?

Well, part of this plan is that every school and college will have a ‘Careers Leader’ who will be able to implement all eight of The Gatsby Benchmarks (these can be found on page 19). At the moment only half of schools are reaching two of these benchmarks and fifth not achieving any at all. From September this year all schools and colleges will be expected to publish details of their careers programme, so the pressure is on to get the right staff on the job immediately.

Not just in education but ‘Personal guidance is important because it tailors advice to individual needs and helps people to navigate their way successfully through education, training and career choices. Personal guidance has an observable impact on young people’s careers and progression, and young people continue to have a clear preference for face-to-face support. Guidance must be impartial and delivered by qualified practitioners, putting the needs of the individual first.’(Page 25; Section 69)
Already have a form of CEIAG qualification? The government are telling institutions to look on the CDI register to identify qualified practitioners. To get on the register you will need the Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development or equivalent. If you have completed the Level 4 Diploma in Career Information and Advice you can do a progression course that means you will have already completed some units from the Level 6. You can also complete the Level 4 with the Level 6 in mind and we will tell you exactly what units are transferable.

‘We welcome the Career Development Institute’s (CDI) work to raise the profile and status of the careers profession. We continue to encourage schools, colleges and other organisations to use the CDI’s UK Register of Career Development Professionals to identify qualified practitioners. The CDI’s emphasis on continuing professional development for its members will mean that young people and adults can benefit from impartial guidance, based on up-to-date knowledge. Government will support this by providing clear, in-depth information about new qualifications, such as T levels, or reforms that can support the ongoing training of careers professionals.’ (Page 25; section 70)

Universities will also be expected ‘to do more to make sure that students from disadvantaged backgrounds make best use of their university careers services.’ (Page 27; section 75)
The Department of Education also say that they will build on the strengths of the existing provision of the National Career Services and - "procure a new service by October 2018 which will provide high quality bespoke support for those who need it most. This will include people with low qualification levels and those with special educational needs and disabilities." (p27; Section 78). Any expansion of existing provision is likely to call for an increase in the number of skilled and qualified guidance practitioners.
The National Careers Service will be playing an integral part of this strategy and as such ‘All National Careers Service providers must meet the matrix standard which assesses and measures their delivery of advice and support services on careers, training and work.’ (p27; Section 77). A simple prediction of this will be a massive increase in staff training and possibly much more staff intake as the pressure of the service they are expected to provide to everyone expands. We have worked closely with and trained many people at NCS in the past and are more than confident they will easily adapt and continue their fundamental work of building rewarding careers for the whole populace.

In summary they leave us will a very positive message and bright outlook for the future of careers advice and for all.
‘We want every person, no matter what their background is and no matter where they are from, to be able to build a rewarding career. Now we need to work together and capitalise on the network we are building, to provide careers guidance and encounters that are dynamic and link to the real employment opportunities available in future. In a fast-changing economy, it is essential that we make school and work more closely connected than ever before so young people from all backgrounds have the knowledge, skills and experience to succeed in work. As the labour market evolves, it is crucial that those already in work can access the advice and information on career changing and retraining that opens up other opportunities. Let’s seize this chance to lead change and make the most of everyone’s skills and talents.’ (Page 35; section 105)

And finally a few comments from the staff at White Rose:

‘I think this is a very positive move in raising the profile of the importance of impartial career guidance with professionally qualified staff at the helm. This will ensure that standards in the quality and consistency of career guidance are raised and maintained across this sector. Fully trained career guidance staff offer an insight and understanding of effective tools and techniques for supporting young people through to the next stage of their life. By undertaking the level 6 they will have explored key underlying theories and models for supporting clients and have explored resources and considered current developments in the sector.’ Lynn Briffett, Programme and Assessment Director

‘At White Rose we have been dedicated to the art and science of careers education, guidance and development for several decades now and have seen the fortunes of our profession wax and wane. We've seen various schemes from YOPS, TOPS, YTS, to apprenticeships. We've seen The Careers Service, Connexions, IAG Partnerships, and the national Careers Service. We've delivered RSA, NOCN, NVQ’s, DCGp2, and the warmly welcomed L4 and L6 Diplomas. The importance of careers has varied enormously in the government agenda over the years but we welcome this strategy document as an affirmation of what we as practitioners have known all along. We look forward to helping many more dedicated professionals enter our profession or improve their skills’ Jane Hinken, Managing Director

Thanks for reading.
Lucy Medes-Hinken
Centre Manager

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