Does Connexions offer advice to all?

12th March 2004 at 00:00
Training providers share the concern about the growing pressures on the Connexions service to concentrate its energies on young people not in employment, education or training at the expense of the vast majority who fall outside that group (FEFocus, March 5).

If the 14-19 reforms are to be successfully delivered, it is vital that all young people from the age of 14 onwards, if not before, have ready access to high quality and objective advice to help them steer a course through the important, and increasingly complex, post-16 choices available to them.

Unfortunately, there is increasing concern that the quality and quantity of Careers Education and Guidance (CEG) in schools is diminishing.

This is in the face of funding pressures on the Connexions service and self-interest on the part of the schools - Jmany of which discourage young people from considering options other than staying on in their sixth forms.

While the whole question of guidance requires urgent review, early action could be taken by raising substantially the significance of CEG within the Ofsted inspection framework.

Graham Hoyle Chief executive Association of Learning Providers Bristol

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