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Accessing careers advice

Uneven quality and availability of careers information, advice and guidance

There is widespread concern among our participants about current provision of careers information, advice and guidance in England, with many young people being denied access to impartial advice from professionally trained careers advisors. While some participants have identified examples of good practice or welcomed recent policy initiatives intended to enhance the quality of careers information, advice and guidance (e.g. the Gatsby benchmarks), the consensus is that the quality and consistency of careers support needs to improve for young people who do not go to university.


There are also significant concerns about the disappearance of a careers guidance service that acted outside the school framework and fostered strong relationships between employers, trainers  and colleges on the one hand and schools on the other. 


Some education practitioners have expressed particular concerns that the careers information, advice and guidance young people receive in school typically reinforces traditional choices by not presenting young people with adequate or full information about the advantages and logistics of vocational options. This perception is echoed in the experiences of many of the young people we have spoken with, who felt they had not been presented with a full range of post-16 options by careers advisors and teachers, and that advice was overwhelmingly weighted towards promoting traditional academic routes through sixth forms and university.

More of our findings

Nearly 1 in 2 young people experience school as something they need to 'get through'.

The pandemic has significantly impacted young people’s lives and post-16 transitions.

The post-16 transitions through VET of the young people we are speaking with were often non-linear and disjointed.

Non-university routes into employment come with distinctive barriers or challenges.

Many young people turn to their family networks for careers support and/or work opportunities.

Young people who have migrated face additional challenges relating to their transitions.

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