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Government announces school careers leader scheme

The Government has unveiled plans for some 500 state secondary schools and colleges to have a dedicated ‘careers leader’ by the time the next academic year commences in September 2018. £4 million will be allocated to fund the scheme, allowing 500 schools and colleges to each spend £8,000 in training someone to carry out the role. The long-term aim is to have a careers leader in every state secondary school or college.

An additional £5 million has been allocated to create 20 new ‘careers hubs’, which will facilitate links between schools and colleges and local universities and employers.

All schools will be expected to provide their pupils with at least one “meaningful interaction” with business each year. Schools will be encouraged to forge links with employers, especially those offering opportunities in science, technology engineering and mathematics.

£2 million will also be allocated to a pilot scheme, whereby primary school pupils in some of the most deprived areas will be made more aware of the range of careers that might be available to them.

Skills Minister Anne Milton MP said:

“Without access to the best possible careers support, some people will miss out on the opportunities available.

“It matters to me that we give people from all backgrounds the best-possible preparation to move into a job or training that enables them – whatever their background or wherever they live – to have a fulfilling life.”

It remains to be seen what the focus of the new ‘careers leaders’ might be. With such a high proportion of young people going on to university at age 18, in many cases the existing ‘careers’ service in schools and colleges is geared much more towards preparing students for higher education, rather than for the world of work.

The funding to educate young people as to what career options might be available is certainly welcome – even when graduating many people are unaware of many of the careers to which they might be suited.

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