'Careers leaders' needed to boost advice in schools

Claudia Harris, chief executive of the Careers and Enterprise Company, says each school needs an 'air traffic control person' to connect students with employers

Will Martin

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Every school in the country should have a "careers leader" to help students gain experience the world of work, according to Claudia Harris, chief executive of the Careers and Enterprise Company.

Ms Harris, speaking today at the Westminster Employment Forum in central London, told delegates that the careers leaders would "be a sort of air traffic control person", who could put young people in contact with industry before they left school.

"Research by Sir John Holman has pointed to the importance of a careers leader in every school," she said. "The careers leader would be a sort of air traffic control person in every school who can…make sure that all young people get these encounters with the world of work. We are very supportive of this idea and think it’s very important to help schools build this capacity."

Ms Harris also said that the Careers and Enterprise Company would be launching a "digital passport" for young people, helping them to record and showcase their academic and extracurricular achievements to employers. In October, the organisation launched online tool Compass, which measures the effectiveness of careers information, advice and guidance in secondary schools.

'A careers system that nurtures'

Last week, apprenticeships and skills minister Robert Halfon stressed the need for a careers system "that nurtures the aspirations of those who are disadvantage or have special educational needs".

Speaking at the Westminster Academy in London, Mr Halfon said: "We know just how important careers advice and guidance is for those young people who are from more disadvantaged backgrounds or have special educational needs: those who face different challenges or bigger hurdles to overcome when making choices about their future.

"We need a careers system that nurtures the aspirations of those who are disadvantaged or have special educational needs, providing them with the additional and targeted support that they need to make those aspirations become a reality. This will mean different things for different people."

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Will Martin picture

Will Martin

Will is a junior reporter at TES

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