A Maurauder's political map of CEIAG

Tuesday 9th June 2015

So the dust has settled, we know we have a Tory government with cuts at the start, middle and end of the agenda and education is not to be shielded from the scalpel. Please excuse Harry Potter references, I'm hoping for some unexpected magical support for CEIAG. So I asked Mr Filch to give me his predictions for worse case and Nymphadora Tonks for her hopes for a best case scenarios

Given that schools are pressed to their limit and beyond with curriculum changes, Ofsted updates, threats of academisation if ( excuse twitching double finger quotes here) coasting, I don't feel I'm really donning my cynics hat if I say that CEIAG could well be left more marginalised than ever.

It's no secret that I've often said that giving schools responsibility for CEIAG without training to improve capacity was a very bad move on the part of the Government. The lack of planning and understanding that schools are not equipped with the capacity to pick up the CEIAG agenda from the hole that Connexions left on the CEIAG landscape, has resulted in the universally acknowledged postcode lottery with some schools doing wonderful work and others at the other extreme doing far less than the required (by statutory duty) minimum. Dumbledore has done some wonderful work on International bursaries to study Dragon rearing in Transylvania! Mr Snape However has managed to find the most boring form of work experience for Ron Weasley, replicating screamers for The Ministry of Magic to send to people behind in their taxes.

Thus, I've decided to put my neck on the block, and my tongue in my cheek and put down in black and white an outline of the new lay of the land and some of the possible paths we might be steered down over the next few years.

The new Careers & Enterprise Company

The news before the election of the funding for a new careers and enterprise company seems a long, long time ago. In fact it was December last year when Nikki Morgan announced it. Nothing much has been heard recently but we do expect an announcement later in the month. The good news is both The CDI & Careers England are in dialogue with the company and have just published a Survey of Career Education and Guidance in Schools and Links with Employers which was undertaken with the aim of helping inform the new company of the needs of careers practitioners.

Worst Case:- Heavy linking of Enterprise and Lord Young's Enterprise Passport to CEIAG, Duplication of employer engagement work done by many charities and organisations.

Best Case:- Real understanding of CDI & Careers England perspective and funding/support for CPD for teachers & managers to improve capacity for management of CEIAG in schools.

Split of responsibility for CEIAG between 2 ministers

Nick Boles, has been given BIS responsibility for post-18 careers advice, while Education Minister Sam Gyimah was handed DfE responsibility for careers advice up to the age of 18 and for the government's new careers company.

A DfE spokesperson is quoted as saying that the job split is "evidence of how highly we are prioritising this important subject".

Worst Case:- What will this mean in practice? I guess that more duplication and waste may well be the order of the day. In fighting to get more emphasis and importance placed on one particular sector to the detriment of the other.

Best Case:- I'd like to think that they'd work in harmony and put in place the basis of a lifelong careers journey support network. A unified voice supporting the need for continued lifelong learning and career management skills for the changing labour market.

Earn or learn taskforce

The Earn or Learn taskforce has already come under criticism (1) for its name which some suggest implies that you either earn or learn, not both. Announced on 2nd June 15, it is tasked with "making sure policies are implemented, troubleshooting and fixing teething problems". Their remit is wide-ranging and covers diverse topics including housing, troubled families, extremism and youth unemployment

The group contains eight MPs including Skills Minister Nick Boles and his predecessor Matthew Hancock, who is the Cabinet Office Minister and also chairs the group.

They will be joined on the "earn or learn" taskforce by:-

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Letwin
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith
Communities and Local Government Secretary Greg Clark
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Greg Hands
Employment Minister Priti Patel

Worst Case:- Knee jerk reactions to snags, changing priorities and post breaking news fire fighting.

Best Case:- Miss Tonks is deep in thought trying to find one of these. She did try the flying pig spell but that just fizzled and went pop.

Queen's Speech

The Government is working on delivering its promised three million Apprenticeships (1,648 a day!). Legislation was introduced in the Queen's Speech as part of the Employment and Welfare Benefits Bill, stating that Ministers will be required to report annually on progress. (see Earn or Learn above) A 'future youth offer' was also outlined, which will see Jobcentre Plus adviser support introduced in schools to supplement careers advice and provide 'routes into work experience and apprenticeships'. Complementing this is a new Youth Allowance for 18 to 21-year-olds with stronger work-related conditionality - after six months young people will be required to go on an Apprenticeship, training or community work placement. Eighteen to 21 year olds will no longer be able to receive housing benefit.

Worst Case:- Poorly equipped adult Jobcentre Plus advisers out of their depth and failing to understand the needs of young people. More homelessness and young people doing apprenticeship after apprenticeship rather than signing on.

Best Case:- Qualified careers advisers employed by Jobcentre Plus to work with schools

Local Government Association
A survey of 87 Local Authorities by the LGA (2) has shown that Local authorities are very critical of the Government's policies for young people especially of the effect policies have had on CEIAGLGA June 15

Best Case:- The Government starts paying attention to Local Authorities or Local Authorities start using their newly devolved powers (when they get them) and find new and creative ways to support young people in their local areas

Worst Case:- Even more of a postcode lottery with wide discrepancies in levels of service throughout the land

1 http://feweek.co.uk/2015/06/08/its-earn-and-learn-not-either-or/

(2) http://feweek.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/LGA-survey-of-councils-supporting-16-18-participation-5-June-2015.pdf

(3) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/future-of-education-inspection-regional-launch-events