Good careers advice is at last being given a high priority by ministers and local education authorities such as Leeds but, as Paul Fisher reports, turning round a Cinderella service will not prove an easy target.
1994 has been a crucial year for careers work. The GEST (Grants for Educational Support and Training) programme promised funds for teaching teachers to teach careers.
Here are the other main developments: April: The first 13 privatised careers companies set up in business.
May: OFSTED's Framework for the Inspection of Schools strengthened the position of careers education and guidance with fresh directives for inspectors.
May: The Competitiveness White Paper, with a preface written by John Major, pledged an extra Pounds 87m to careers work.
October 3: 100 bids received to form 43 training companies.
November 2: The Education Secretary Gillian Shephard and the Employment Secretary Michael Portillo launched "Better Choices".
Mrs Shephard also directed the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority to revise approaches to careers in the curriculum.
December 16: The Employment Department will award contracts to 43 careers service providers. Public announcements come in the New Year.