Careers advice must evolve

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills launched the National Careers Service to offer advice to people of all ages through a combination of careers advisors and online resources. However, specific resources aimed at young people are expected to change, with more expected of companies to inform and inspire school leavers to join a particular profession.

According to the Financial Skills Partnership, employers and education should work more closely to deliver support to students to help them make informed career choices. Their comments echo the findings of a report from Head Teachers and Industry (HTI) entitled The Way Forward – An investigation into the Factors influencing Higher Education and Career Choices among 16 and 17 year-olds. The report, which was commissioned by professional services provider KPMG and global law firm Linklaters, said that finance remained one of the most popular career routes for young people but 77 per cent still required more opportunities to find out more about their chosen career.

Liz Field, CEO of the Financial Skills Partnership, said, “Employers can provide the context and sector specialist information which enables the student to take forward research about their career following impartial guidance from a careers advisor. This works most effectively when employers, schools and colleges work closely together to deliver this information in a way that best suits students – for example career focussed mentoring and coaching, careers education, visits and industry days.”

The Financial Skills Partnership has launched Directions – a free online careers destination for young people to gain an insight into the financial sector and pursue career opportunities with leading organisations. Directions enables ambitious young people to link to employers and work opportunities, and introduces them to a career in finance.
Liz Field concluded, “This is the type of in-depth sector specific information required by young people to help plan their future, but a multi-stakeholder approach would still be welcomed by school leavers and businesses.”