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At a glance

Warning on leaving careers advice to schools

The 157 Group of FE colleges has warned that changes to the careers advice system will deny young people the chance of a face-to-face meeting with a qualified adviser. Executive director Lynne Sedgmore said delegating responsibility to individual schools "will result in many young people not receiving impartial professional guidance at a critical stage in their lives". "We know that many schools do not give students the full picture about the opportunities available in vocational education and apprenticeships," she added. The 157 Group and the Institute of Careers Guidance are developing a joint policy paper on the issue to present to ministers later this year. "It is crucial that correct information, advice and guidance is available to ensure learners are placed on the best possible pathways to fulfil their ambitions in life," City and Islington College principal Frank McLoughlin added.

Training company gets the chop

A training company that received Government funding to offer apprenticeships in hairdressing has closed. TTS Enterprises, based in Bideford, Devon, has gone into liquidation, with creditors claiming #163;177,000. Its main operation was Headstart, a hairdressing apprenticeship scheme funded by the Skills Funding Agency. Its parent charity, Torridge Training Services, plans to take on the services previously supplied by Headstart "to keep the transition as smooth as possible". A statement from legal firm Begbies Traynor, appointed as liquidator, said the closure was caused by delays in receiving training fees and "underperformance" in some parts of the business.

Flagship UTC opens its doors

Walsall College's new Black Country University Technical College (UTC) opened this week. As one of the Government's flagship new UTCs, offering both practical and academic learning, the school will specialise in science and engineering. It was opened by Lord Baker, who has spearheaded the UTC project. The school is backed by co-sponsor Wolverhampton University and Walsall Council. It will "reinvigorate the Black Country's engineering heritage", according to principal Chris Hilton. "Our young people will be successful, make a positive contribution to society, have entrepreneurial skills and meet the needs of employers in the West Midlands," he added.

Wrong qualifications hamper career chances

A lack of the right qualifications is causing Britons to lose confidence in their abilities and limiting their job prospects, according to a report by a leading online-learning provider. The survey, by learndirect, found two-thirds of unemployed people feel there is no hope of getting back into the world of work. Of those in employment, 26 per cent said they missed out on promotions to better-qualified colleagues, and 27 per cent of those out of work said they have been rejected for more than 20 jobs because they lack relevant skills. Professor Cary Cooper, a psychologist at Lancaster University, said: "Gaining qualifications can help get people out of the vicious job-search cycle and give them a much needed confidence boost, which will help improve their job prospects."

Dudley names governor successor

Dudley College has appointed a new chair of its corporation. Following the retirement of Viv Astling, who stepped down after six years, John Freeman has taken on the college's lead governing role. He previously served as director of children's services at Dudley council for seven years. "Dudley College has exciting plans to enhance the future of further and higher education in the borough, and I'm delighted to be so closely involved in the regeneration of the town centre," he said. "I have a passion for education and a belief that by giving individuals the skills they need, they can go on to secure employment and contribute to their communities."

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