Quality body calls for careers strategy to be published quickly

Will we ever see the Government’s careers strategy? The Career Management Quality Alliance (CMQA) – a new sector-wide body of education and careers leaders focussing on quality - urges the Government to publish and implement its long-awaited careers strategy as soon as MPs return to Parliament in September.

To help move this along, the CMQA is today publishing its own recommendations. Chair of the Alliance and President of the Career Development Institute, Virginia Isaac, said “We want to be helpful to Government. To move things along, we have gathered the views of key education and careers bodies in the country and produced a position statement ‘A Careers Strategy that Works for Everyone’.

If this thinking can be incorporated into government policy there will be a good chance of breaking through the current log-jam and making good some of the acute erosion of career guidance in recent times”.

A new careers strategy was first proposed by the Government back in December 2015, in response to the universal view from education and business that, in many areas, access to careers advice for young people was patchy and inadequate and ‘was on life support’ (CBI 2013). Since then we have had a succession of Ministers who have come and gone – all acknowledging the importance of careers education and career management skills; promising the strategy and then failing to deliver it. Meanwhile, more and more young people and adults are being denied the help they so sorely need to prepare for life and a very dynamic world of work – and, qualified careers advisers are leaving the profession in ever greater numbers.

The CMQA fully endorses the research carried out by Sir John Holman and the Gatsby Foundation which resulted in the publication of eight ‘Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance’ including the call for a stable careers programme in every school, personal guidance and addressing the needs of each student. Additionally, while the work of the Careers and Enterprise Company is also an important step in the right direction, it is clear that with its emphasis solely on encounters with employers and employees, it is not in a position to be able to support any other of the benchmarks that will be so vital for wellbeing, social mobility and success.

Everyone is agreed that for the UK to remain competitive and for our economy to grow in a global market, the nation will need to be more self-sufficient in developing the skills of its workforce. This is at the heart of the latest Industrial Strategy. Virginia Isaac added “There is an enormous amount of good will to make this happen. Across the board, educators and business people want this to succeed. Careers professionals are ready to give high quality, lifelong support for career management – all we need is for Government to fire the starting gun and recognise the huge value that career professionals bring to all our futures.”

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