When Unison, the union that represents Connexions staff, was asked last year to submit views on the future of the youth guidance service for the forthcoming Youth Green paper, we said it should be moved back under local government control.
However, there are other things the Government must address to ensure a high-quality universal careers service:
* the underlying principles of Connexions were good but the resources were not available to make it work properly;
* if the service does not move back under local authority control funding should be ring-fenced;
* there is a need for a better balance between local needs and national minimum standards;
* there must be a national pay and conditions framework.
Rightly, the Government promotes the role of client involvement in providing the service. However, to achieve meaningful change, staff must also help create and develop any new service.
Jon Richards Senior National Officer Unison Education Services Group, 1 Mabledon Place London WC1