Teaching

Does the Government think anybody can give careers guidance

Monday 12th October 2015

Does the Government think anybody can give careers guidance

Nick Boles MP recommends that apprentices should deliver careers advice assume that govt would pay for DBS, training & management of this

— Denise Bertuchi (@DeniseBertuchi) October 6, 2015

Cue frothing apprentice at mouth and end of relaxed chilling with the family mood.

Of course the article in FE Week which can be read here didn't mean that apprentices should sit down and give peers careers guidance, it meant that apprentices could be used as ambassadors to go out and speak to people about the possible role of apprenticeships in their career journey.

So given that everyone seems to be confused about careers guidance and the allied activities which take place alongside here is my

Cheat's guide to careers work CEIAG.

Careers Education (CE)

If you Google the term careers education, you'll find a lot of vacancies in education. In fact there are a number of terms, Careers Learning, Careers Development etc. This doesn't need to be discrete lessons, in fact it can be delivered in any lesson by anyone who has the interest to want to develop students career development skills. It could be as simple as showing an iCould or Careersbox video which highlights a working life example of what is being taught in the lesson, via case study scenarios and employer activity right up to a full on how to construct a CV workshop.

Careers Information (I)

Careers Information is exactly that information about careers. So it could include:-

  • Labour Market Information - about hours, pay, vacancies etc which can be found in various places
  • Information about professional pathways from professional organisations
  • Training and entry information on professional and degree courses
  • Websites and/or printed literature
  • Videos
  • Information imparted by employers, apprentices etc who have a first hand knowledge of a particular employment sector, profession or pathway.

Careers Advice & Guidance (AG)

This is where proper qualifications come in. The Career Development Institute which is the professional body for career development professionals defines the role as:-


Career development professionals provide activities and services which assist individuals or organisations seeking support to affect a wide range of career transitions. These may be associated with life and career stages, including the development of the career ideas of young people. Contexts include educational choices, work experience and internships, labour market entry, skills and vocational training, job search, sector/management level change, promotion or transfer, redundancy, entrepreneurial business development, working identity change, disability and stress related career development issues, adjustments to life-work balance, returners to the labour market, portfolio working and pre-retirement choices

The level of qualification for membership of The CDI professional register is a level 6 qualification, that is post graduate level.

So what does that mean for schools?

The Goverment insists that

  • The duty on schools, to secure independent careers guidance for all year 8-13 pupils, is intended to expand advice and guidance for young people so they are inspired and motivated to fulfil their potential.
  • High quality, independent careers guidance is also crucial in helping pupils emerge from school more fully rounded and ready for the world of work.

Thus it is clear that a mixture of advice and guidance is necessary along with the education and information - the difference is often down to how the activity is delivered and who delivers it.

Nobody is asking teachers, employers, apprentices or to be careers guidance practitioners - they have not had the training to be impartial nor to be up to date with all the training and career pathways. Nor have they had the grounding in career development theory necessary to be able to effectively counsel students. The bottom line, in my opinion, is only qualified careers guidance professionals should be expected to give careers guidance. Everyone else provides opinion or information.

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