Web platform has its limits

17th June 2011 at 01:00

As a careers guidance professional for over 20 years, I found Julia Belgutay's News Focus piece on June 3 made for interesting, if depressing, reading.

There are many barriers facing school-leavers looking to enter the world of work and Skills Development Scotland's initiative, My World of Work (MyWoW) web platform, should receive a cautious welcome.

While any technological advances should be utilised, this computer-based package is viewed by many careers guidance professionals as one which will be promoted predominantly due to budget cuts, and to mask impending future careers centre closures alongside the recent loss of some 8 per cent of frontline staff.

School-leavers need high-quality advice and guidance to help them make well-informed career choices, but the impending launch of MyWoW does not offer the professional face-to-face help which the vast majority crucially require.

Many careers advisers fear the MyWoW database will result in face-to-face guidance being made available only to a limited number of school pupils, with the rest being encouraged to navigate a web-based system in search of DIY careers advice and guidance.

School-leavers, irrespective of their academic capabilities, need to make well-informed career decisions. If they do not have access to high- quality, face-to-face guidance locally, the number of unemployed school- leavers, and university drop-out rates, will remain at worrying levels.

Web-based systems can complement and supplement the advice and guidance process available from professionally-qualified staff - never replace it.

MyWoW: buyer beware!

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