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Katharine Horler is Adviza’s Chief Executive and chair of the board for Careers England. She has campaigned relentlessly for the provision of quality careers advice and guidance, especially for the most vulnerable young people. In this blog she adds her voice to the growing concern about the impact of sustained fragmentation and lack of investments in the profession.

The quality of careers advice is getting a bashing – and it is no wonder.

The recent article in TES where the NUS described careers advice as a national scandal pretty much sums it up.

The service has been splintered and shattered so that it is virtually unrecognisable.

There has been no investment for years. What money there is has been pumped into the Careers and Enterprise Company and much needed projects they are managing, however it will not fill all the growing and glaring gaps in provision.

It’s not that any of us want to return to the past. Like everyone, we have to adapt to an ever changing world. We all have to find ways to work smarter for less.

But one thing that does not change is the needs of young people to be supported to make the most important choices of their lives.

“If young people know more about the range of careers open to people with the right qualifications, they will have a clearer idea of the routes to better jobs.”

In fact we would argue that their needs for qualified, independent guidance and advice are greater than ever for some obvious reasons:

  1. They have more choices than ever
  2. Employers are not satisfied with young people’s knowledge or understanding of the world of work
  3. Some schools don’t offer unbiased advice – they want their pupils to choose their sixth forms and go to university (alternatives to this are treated as second rate)

We agree that careers advice must focus on strengthening the links between schools and employers.

We also agree that it must fairly promote all of the options – especially apprenticeships as an alternative to university.

If you would like to understand more about how we define our service see the Gatsby Good Career Guidance framework which we use to benchmark our work across the Thames Valley.


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