Quick Guide to the Skills for Jobs White Paper for Careers Leaders
Thursday 21st January 2021
Today a new report has been published Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth in which the Government sets out the way in which to reform FE over the coming years. This is not my area of expertise and I won't be commenting on those aspects aside from saying that it appears the L4/5 education will be retailored to meet with industry led standards and that a new Lifelong Learning Loan will be developed to enable more people to access level 4 and 5 qualifications as well as degree level 6, However, within this paper there is a great deal which can influence the state of careers education and guidance in schools. Some of it appears to be of the stick variety - schools must, schools should, schools will although there are some carrots in there. Let's explore.
Employer Led & LMI dependent
The first piece of key information relevant to schools can be found in chapter 3. As one of the key points of this chapter it states the Government's intention to
Provide clear information about career outcomes through occupational maps, wage returns data, and ensuring providers give pupils information about all options
This to me sounds like an acceptance that the Baker Clause hasn't really had the desired effect within schools. Another step on the road of realisation that schools can't do this without support and dare I say it, money? Well ok, the latter may not have occured to the Whitehall mandarins but it's certainly true of the path that careers learning has taken since 2012.
This is further indicated by this statement from page 47
We will introduce a three-point-plan to enforce the Baker Clause: a new minimum requirement about who is to be given access to which pupils and when; tougher formal action against non-compliance; and government-funded careers support for schools to be made conditional on Baker Clause compliance
So might there be some money? One may hope but empirically, I'd not hold your breath for money in your school budget. However, it may be obtained via access to careers hubs and training opportunities.
Let's Say This Again & A Bit More of This Please
A number of the announcements can come under this heading.
- Whilst this was heralded sometime ago but is yet to appear, the revamp of the National Careers Service website is again stated as an intention
- The surprise, but in my opinion welcome, announcement of the alignment The Careers & Enterprise Company and the National Careers Service at both local and national level Professor Sir John Holman has been appointed to work as a strategic adviser on this alignment. This could be an interesting development with NCS being all age and CEC based around school age provision.
- The intention to expand the role of Careers Hubs across England and the corresponding Enterprise Adviser Network of volunteers. Another positive move. Career Hubs have been behind much positive work. My only concern is that there has been some duplication of efforts with more than on hub working on very similar projects.
- An undertaking to continue to fund Careers Leader Training (Very positive)
- Extending the age range of the statutory duty on schools to provide career guidance to start from Year 7 so that it fits in with the Gatsby Benchmarks
- A promise to issue revised Statutory Guidance We have been waiting for this for some time, the most recent version was published in October 2018
- One intention that particularly interests me is to ask Ofsted to undertake another thematic review of career guidance in schools and colleges The last one took place in 2013 and can be found here and concluded that careers education and guidance was patchy. This fits in nicely with Ofsted's heightened interest in careers as part of the new common inspection framework.
The Big Fanfare
As a long term drum basher for building careers learning into the curriculum, I'm very happy to see the paragraph below which is from page 47
To me this says:-
- career education awareness to be included in ITT (Initial teacher training)
- Inclusion of whole school careers in NPQML, NPQSL and NPQH as well as providing CPD for already serving teachers.
I also hope that it means more large employers will start producing educational resources that can support teachers who are trying to include more explicit careers learning within the curriculum via subject areas.
So that's that. My edited highlight blog is complete 77 pages down to a mear 5 minute read. I do hope it helps. Let me know what you think. Do email, tweet, comment. I'm always happy to hear from my readers.