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Careers shake-up urged

A "more coherent, forward-looking" and largely school-based careers service is at the heart of proposals from key business and education leaders.

Members of the Smith Group are pressing for a new national organisation to front a more effective careers service. The group, chaired by Sir Robert Smith, chairman of the Weir Group, is already overseeing the Scottish Executive's strategy for young people who leave school and drop out, known as the Neet group.

In an open letter to Nicol Stephen, Lifelong Learning Minister, they say it would make sense to separate the training aspects of Scottish Enterprise from its core activities in promoting business and merge it with a new national careers service.

John Mulgrew, one of the 15 signatories and chairman of Learning and Teaching Scotland, said it was important to establish a strong base for a revised careers service. Adding the skills and learning functions would do that."

Ewan Hunter, chief executive of the Hunter Foundation, said it was significant that the six Schools of Ambition he was involved with had all opted for more careers officers.

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