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Careers strategy needs funding, says shadow skills minister

Labour's Gordon Marsden says many of the commitments in the government's careers strategy sound positive, but the funding does not match up

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Labour's Gordon Marsden says many of the commitments in the government's careers strategy sound positive, but the funding does not match up

The government needs to commit to more funding for the Career and Enterprise Company to make sure it can deliver on the careers strategy published earlier this week, shadow skills minister Gordon Marsden has said.

Mr Marsden said the careers strategy did not offer the necessary detail to flesh out what were welcome proposals, or indeed the funding to support their implementation.

He said he was concerned, for example, over whether the Careers and Enterprise Company, created by the government four years ago to transform the provision of careers education and advice for young people, would have the capacity to support the careers strategy. "They are still heavily reliant on volunteers, and while I am sure they are all very enthusiastic and solid, that is not the basis on which you operate a careers strategy," he said. 

'The amount of money is frighteningly small'

Mr Marsden said while the government was priding itself on the fact that the Careers and Enterprise Company was now involved in over half of schools and colleges, "that means that they are still not engaging with almost half of colleges and schools". "And I see nothing in their plan to address this, and I don't see very much evidence that the government is committing to significantly more resources to do that."

The shadow skills minister said he also had concerns over the government's plans for a careers leader in every school – one of the central pledges of the new strategy. "The amount of money the government has committed for careers leaders is frighteningly small and there is no detail of where they will come from or, in terms of their own careers progression, where they will go."

The government published its long-awaited careers strategy earlier this week. Under the strategy, £4 million of funding will be committed to every school and college having a dedicated careers leader in place by the start of the new school year, with another £5 million allocated to boosting careers support in the areas of the country most in need. The strategy was developed in partnership with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and coordinated through an expanded role for the Careers and Enterprise Company.

Skills minister Anne Milton said at the launch: “Without access to the best possible careers support, some people will miss out on the opportunities available."

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