Inquiry into careers advice on apprenticeships welcomed

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Employer and business organisations have welcomed the announcement by the Parliament’s Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy to carry out an inquiry into careers advice and guidance, which will specifically look at careers advice and apprenticeships.

A spokesman for the Association of Employment and Learning Providers said awareness about the advantages of doing an apprenticeship was still not sufficiently high among parents, teachers and young people. Even though legislation on careers guidance in England has now been in place for four years, the lack of impartial advice available in schools about post-16 options was still a big issue, he added. 

“The government and Ofsted are working to ensure that the statutory duties for schools are being followed and we need to see more employers and providers invited in to explain face to face with pupils the opportunities that apprenticeships and traineeships offer," the spokesman said. "We are therefore pleased that MPs are looking at the matter again so soon after the last inquiry because the destination data suggests that the proportion of school-leavers choosing to do an apprenticeship has not gone up for some time.”

And Steve Nash, chief executive of the Institute of the Motor Industry, said: “Currently, with no formal careers advice in schools, young people aren’t getting the direction they need to make the best choices for their future. There is a real conflict of interest between schools holding onto 16- to 18-year-old pupils to bolster their funding and the clearly stated desire by government to see more taking the apprenticeship route.”

The inquiry was announced yesterday, and the committee is asking for written submissions on the quality of current careers advice and guidance provision, as well as, among other things, careers advice and apprenticeships, and how careers advice in schools and colleges can help to match skills with labour market needs. The deadline for submissions is 20 January 2016.

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