CAREERS BUDGETS in Scotland would need to be increased by 20 per cent if they were to provide guidance to adults as well as young people, according to Dermot Dick, vice-chairman of the Association of Career Service Companies in Scotland.
That seems unlikely, in spite of the new Scottish Parliament's tax-raising powers, especially as companies are fighting for the same treatment as their counterparts in England. "Companies in England have seen average increases of 6 per cent whereas, in Scotland, we are locked into our second year of no-growth funding," says Mr Dick.
Scottish careers companies co-operate more than those than in England, he says. There are 10 collaborating in On-Track, a project to help young people at risk from social exclusion.
Last year, all 17 careers companies were told their contracts would be renewed from April 2000 - provided they are viable and meet targets.
Local networks work closely with careers companies but include unions, colleges and others with an interest in adult education. Last year, a new Scottish Guidance Group was set up to co-ordinate the work of the local networks and advise the Scottish Executive.