TESP Chair calls for better careers advice in schools
Collaboration is key to improving situation, Diane Johnson says

Diane Johnson, Chair of The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP), has called for careers advice in schools to be reviewed and revamped.

Following a recommendation from the Education Select Committee that the Government urgently reviewed the incentives for schools to provide good quality careers advice, Johnson highlighted how the current approach failed to provide pupils with the breadth and depth of options open to them after their GCSEs.

“Our current system is too focused on sending pupils to university, and doesn’t offer them the opportunity to explore and understand the full range of options open to them when they leave school,” she said. “This needs to change. Young people need to be making an informed choice about their next step – whether that’s to university, into an apprenticeship or starting work. They shouldn’t be sent down one particular route because the system can’t provide them with the information they need.”

Johnson continued: “There may be tens of thousands of young people who have the aptitude for apprenticeships or vocational training who are missing out because the current system doesn’t make them aware of the full range of options, and this can’t continue. Careers advisers can’t do it all – there’s far too much for one person to know and explain, so it would make sense for them to work with training providers and people from industry to pool resources and share knowledge. Bringing training providers – and employers, where practical – into schools to speak to pupils or careers advisers would help ensure schools are able to provide pupils with the full range of information they need without adding to careers advisers’ workloads.”

She concluded: “It’s now mandatory for pupils to stay in education or undertake some form of work-based learning until they’re 18, making it even more important that they receive the right advice and are able to make an educated decision on their next move. The only way this will happen is by schools, employers and training providers collaborating, and making sure young people are given the full picture about what they can do once they’ve taken their GCSEs.”