Guidance needs professional support along with funding

16th March 2001 at 00:00
As a member of the Duffner committee on careers guidance, I would support the majority of the points made by Grant Jeffrey (TESS, March 2) but would wish to take issue with a couple.

The committee consulted widely before coming to its conclusions on the careers service and its recommendation that there should be a move to all-age provision. The committee considered responses from a range of adult guidance providers and indeed the chair of the Scottish Adult Guidance Network was a member of the Duffner committee.

In recommending the move to an all-age guidance service, and highlighting the need for additional finding to resource it, the committee recognised that careers guidance required to be underpinned by a wide range of educational support. It did not, however, accept the premise that there needed to be an artificial distinction between careers advisers and adult guidance advisers.

The committee also recognised that there were already a range of adult guidance provider in the field, not all of whom were careers service companies. In its recommendations, therefore,it promoted the concept of partnership between careers service companies and other adult guidance providers.

The committee noted the good practice which already existed in this kind of partnership provision most notably within Careers Central, Career Development Edinburgh and Lothians, Fife and Renfrewshire. The Scottish Executive has responded to this by providing additional funding to careers service companies for all-age guidance services in partnership with others, building upon this existing good practice.

It would be unfortunate if the opportunity to have all-age guidance provision, built upon a solid foundation of personal development and education for employability, were to be lost through the bickering of professionals, who have much in common, hinted at in Grant Jeffrey's article.

Shelagh Rae Director of education and leisure, Renfrewshire Council, Paisley

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