Sorry if I'm repeating a reply, but a correction to some of the points raised below.
For eight years I managed work experience for 3-4000 students a year, before being made redundant, mainly as a result of the Wolf Report and the uncertainty it caused / funding it removed.
Insurance DOES cover students under 18 year's of age, if they are on a regulated programme of work experience and this is in agreement with the Association of British Insurers and the Government. The student changes legal status and becomes a young adult within the work place, so the same duty of care applies to the student as it would to any young / inexperience / vulnerable employee. Some things are excluded, but not many - the HSE had good guidance. What is important is that the process is carried out correctly and that does not mean producing reams of paperwork, but having care, being competent, understanding the health and safety implications from both sides of the relationship (not sending out a pupil unless they are ready for the experience etc.) and being clear with both sides about the expectations required - what the employer wants from the young person and what the young person wants from the employer.
CRB checks only required in the tiny majority of cases, as work experience was / still is / a regulated programme, which exempts from blanket checking, with even MP's getting this one wrong!
Controlled assessments / modular exams have been around for a long time and all that is required is students go back to school for their exams or start their placements late, something we did on a regular basis. Just like work, you plan in the unexpected and, as long as the employer was pre-warned, they were generally fine with this. Good planning also ensures that not all schools go on work experience in June and July, with those that do planning it for their own convenience and not for the good of the pupils. The minority of my schools went out at this time and we made them very well aware that their choices would be limited, due to the increased demand for placements during this period and the fact that employers go on holiday during this time too.
Pushing work experience back to post 16 will simply delay the development of skills and not improve matters. We found that pre-16 work experience starts the preparation, with many then finding additional work experience post-16. Pre-16 work experience is about introducing a young person to employment, not necessarily matching them to a job, but helping their confidence and life skills. Yes, we worked hard to find a good choice and variety of placements, but many of the students (from all educational and economic backgrounds) had never used public transport, been required to get somewhere on time that their parents hadn't facilitated or even carried out basic skills like making a cup of tea - beware all when offered tea by a work experience student within a hairdressers - you have been warned.
We need to get students of all ages engaged in the real world, not just with work experience and that means encouraging them to participate in anything outside of their own comfort circle and letting them take risks, either physical or mental, and providing them with strategies to enable them to make informed choices and decisions.
The Wolf Report was produced on the back of a few conversations with her friend's children (this is documented) and had undone a great deal of good.
Interestingly, many schools I used to work with are funding the work experience still, even with the matched funding withdrawn, as there is no other form of engagement that they can do for so little money and it is only some schools withdrawing from it all together, certainly not all.
A major worry is not carrying out work experience well, as it will only become an issue when something goes wrong and a student has an issue or is injured, which is where the 'industry' of work experience started from in the first place .... Post 16 will bring its own issues, as I've experience with this age group too through work-based training and they don't get any easier to place, just have a different set of issues.
Sorry if this repeats previous emails.
Careers and Personal Development Advisor
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From: List for UK HEI employability developers [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nortcliffe, Anne
Sent: 08 March 2012 08:00
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Intelligence 2012: Spotlight on career guidance & the lifecourse
Interesting observation one I agree with. However on the ground in schools this facility is being are withdrawn. Most frightening thing occurring is schools are stopping the two week work experience. I think this down to a combination of factors:
1. Company/Businesses insurance will not cover anyone under 17 years of age, something I have come across 2. New GCSE controlled assessments and their dates (short announcements) sometimes only 3 months ahead, makes it difficult to plan work placements 3. Cost of organising 4. CRIB check perceived being required by employers
I know Penistone Grammar, huge comprehensive in Barnsley has stopped the two week work experience. This year I have observed quite a number of first years are missing this experience.
It is like being in the 80s when schools deemed anyone going to University, therefore were not in need of career advice or the two week work experience. You can take it I as teenager was not amused and organised my own in the 6th form, much to the shock of my school.
In theory, with the recession minimising part-time work opportunities for students, the lack work experience at school, the next few years our job is going to get harder, the greater need for work based learning opportunities in degrees.
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On 6 Mar 2012, at 15:42, "Ruth Lawton" <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
FYI - Unfortunately this is the last edition which is a shame
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From: Intelligence: employment and skills ebulletin [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 06 March 2012 14:54
To: Ruth Lawton
Subject: Intelligence 2012: Spotlight on career guidance & the lifecourse
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Thanks to our loyal readers
Please note that the March edition of Intelligence will be our last one. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills has been surveying the employment and skills landscape through Intelligence since May 2008. From high-performance working to the low-carbon transition, through consultations and command papers, strategies and seminal studies, over the past four years we have been reporting on the key developments. We would like to thank all our loyal readers for their support during this time. We are now exploring new ways to deliver information to you and look forward to unveiling these.
In this edition's Spotlight Feature we focus on the importance of career guidance throughout the lifecourse.
Read Spotlight Now
View Spotlight Online<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNXT-1/c.aspx>
Content this month includes...
Work and the Workplace
* Tackling skills under-utilisation in the UK<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNXU-1/c.aspx>
Learning and skills
* Research highlights importance of school leavers’ labour market choices<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNXV-1/c.aspx>
* Firms' engagement with apprenticeships<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNXW-1/c.aspx>
* Evidence on how to improve adult literacy and numeracy skills<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNXX-1/c.aspx>
* Literacy, numeracy and ICT skills survey<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNXY-1/c.aspx>
* UK Government publishes plan for reforming FE and skills system<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNXZ-1/c.aspx>
* Vocational training improves company performance<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNY0-1/c.aspx>
* UK Government publishes strategy to support young people in education, training and employment<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNY1-1/c.aspx>
* First job after graduation is crucial to avoiding under-employment<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNY2-1/c.aspx>
* ’Whole-area’ and multi-agency approach key to engaging young people<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNY3-1/c.aspx>
* Essays encourage debate on education and skills<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNY4-1/c.aspx>
* Progress on adult literacy and numeracy in Wales<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNY5-1/c.aspx>
* Educational inequality in England<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNY6-1/c.aspx>
* Tackling worklessness in urban areas through City Strategy Partnerships<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNY7-1/c.aspx>
* City region initiatives target skills and job creation<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNY8-1/c.aspx>
* Government strategy for growth through innovation and research<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9ZNY9-1/c.aspx>
The Intelligence briefing contains a topical "spotlight" feature, where we focus on a key issue relating to the work of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and its partner organisations. This month we focus on the importance of career guidance throughout the lifecourse.
High quality career guidance is crucial for a well-functioning labour market. It helps individuals into learning and work and assists them to sustain and progress in employment. As well as improving individual decision-making, it can raise aspirations and increase self-confidence and resilience. The UK Commission believes that "career guidance should aim to help people not simply to enter work, but to sustain employment and ultimately to move on to a better job" (UKCES, 2011).
This article looks at the changing needs for career guidance at different points in people’s lives and how careers services can best meet these needs. It focuses on publicly funded career guidance.
All-age careers service
Career guidance has traditionally been seen as a service to help younger people manage their entry into the labour market and progress in employment (McNair, 2011). However, policy interest in the older workforce has increased in response to the economic and social implications of an ageing population. This has led to a growing focus on the provision of career guidance throughout life.
The UK Government intends to launch an all-age service for England in April 2012. The National Careers Service will provide information, advice and guidance on careers, skills and the labour market through a network of organisations to people aged 19 and over (BIS, 2011). Components of the National Careers Service including its website and telephone line will also serve young people.
The Scottish Government’s national framework for career guidance contains a commitment to the delivery of career services "for all our people, irrespective of age" (Scottish Government, 2011). The Welsh Government’s review of careers services also commits to the principle of a careers service that is "accessible to individuals of all ages and all abilities" (Welsh Assembly Government, 2010).
Improving careers advice for young people
The initial aim of appropriate career guidance for young people is to ensure that school pupils choose to study subjects that:
* are appropriate for their abilities, interests and aspirations;
* develop the knowledge and skills needed by employers.
There is recognition that career guidance has tended to neglect vocational routes and has failed to make the links between subject lessons and career choice sufficiently explicit. Pupils do not generally link subject knowledge to particular jobs (Finegold, 2011) and this makes the provision of guidance earlier in schooling more important.
Local authorities in England currently have a duty to provide career guidance and usually deliver these services through Connexions. From September 2012, this statutory duty will pass to schools, who will have to ensure that pupils are provided with impartial careers education and guidance. The UK Government is supporting the development of a campaign and website to consolidate careers information for young people into one place to inspire young people about their future careers (Department for Education, 2011).
Recent research has explored the decision-making processes and information needs of young people (Batterham and Levesley, 2011; Crowther, 2011). These reports emphasise that young people need actual advice through personal contact as well as access to information sources. Support from careers professionals is particularly important in instances where young people cannot get appropriate advice from other commonly accessed sources such as their parents.
In terms of career guidance for vocational education, research suggests that young people have limited information about how vocational courses are linked to career routes (Batterham and Levesley, 2011). Effective career guidance needs to emphasise the transferability of skills gained through vocational qualifications, so young people understand the range of careers and future study open to them.
The lack of awareness or practice of career planning among young people is echoed among many graduates. Longitudinal research conducted by Institute for Employment Research (Bimrose and Barnes, 2008) confirmed that graduates often do not have a strong idea about preferred career. Graduates are likely to develop this over time and seek career guidance support from various sources.
Whether through uncertainty about desired career or through a shortage of suitable opportunities, many graduates do not enter the labour market in a ‘graduate-level’ role. It is important that they have access to ongoing high-quality career guidance even when already in work so they and society as a whole maximises the returns from higher education.
Even once established in employment, adults continue to need career guidance. Recognition of the importance of career advice for adults already in work is increasing at policy and practitioner level, in response to social and economic trends. People are working longer as a result of rising state and private pension ages and the harmonisation of pension age between men and women. Workers are also more likely to change jobs, roles, employers and careers during their working life and this requires access to information on updating qualifications and re-skilling.
A number of research studies have investigated the career guidance needs of employees. They contain a range of findings about how adults use careers services.
* Individuals with different personality characteristics facing different labour market conditions, will differ in their ability to take effective decisions in relation to learning and work – capability known as ‘career adaptability’ (Bimrose and Barnes et al., 2011).
* They are more likely to seek careers advice from informal sources such as family and friends than formal, professional sources (Bimrose and Barnes, 2008).
* Individuals have different career decision-making styles, with some adopting a relatively strategic approach and others being more opportunistic (Bimrose and Barnes, 2008).
* Individuals with digital literacy, information handling and career management skills make the best use of online careers guidance provision, while others need support to effectively use technology-based services (UKCES, 2011)
* Guidance is considered useful by workers when it provides: access to details of training and employment opportunities; specialist information including labour market intelligence; and support to develop insight and motivation (Bimrose and Barnes, 2008).
The need to engage employers in providing careers and skills advice to their workers is crucial. Employers need to be encouraged to take preventive action and support ongoing workforce development for all age groups, rather than only reacting to apparent age-related or skills issues in the workplace (Launikari, 2011).
Many individuals will be unemployed for one or more periods in their life. Furthermore, around half of those moving from unemployment benefits to employment will become unemployed again within a year (Hirst, 2011). Evidence suggests that unemployed people particularly value careers services which:
* join up with support services such as health and housing;
* are delivered through sources they trust;
* are appropriate to their individual situation;
* offer support such as advice and mentoring as well as access to career guidance.
Older workers’ labour market transitions have tended to be less supported than those of younger people (Figgis, 2011). However, as already discussed, policy makers are playing increased attention to the needs of older workers (usually defined as those over 50) for career guidance.
Workers may need to maintain a set of work-related competences and manage effective work transitions for much longer than has been customary. Evidence from a pan-European study of the careers of older people suggests that offering mid-career workers guidance could extend the length of their working life (Brown and Bimrose, 2011).
In an research article for Cedefop about the guidance needs of the ageing workforce in the UK, Stephen McNair (2011) suggests that career guidance could fulfil three roles in relation to older workers.
* ensure that people currently in work understand the risks they will face from a premature exit from, and inability to return to, the labour market;
* help unemployed older people return to work by identifying learning or training opportunities that will improve the skills most valued by employers;
* address the issue of underemployment, which rises among workers aged over 50.
* Career guidance services need to become more relevant and extensive, recognising the diversity of older workers (McNair, 2011).
* Guidance should be local and ongoing (Figgis, 2012).
* Guidance must be accompanied by other elements such as the opportunity for re-skilling and positive employer attitudes (Figgis, 2012).
Delivery of career guidance services
There are a number of common recommendations arising from the evidence base about the way careers services should be delivered:
* The use of multiple delivery channels encompassing online tools alongside traditional methods including face-to-face guidance.
* Move away from the dominant ‘matching’ approach to guidance practice which attempts to link people with employment opportunities.
* More individualised/personalised services suited to each person’s situation and career decision style.
* Longer-term targeted interventions are needed to make a difference to disadvantaged people. Ideally these should be part of holistic solutions incorporating other support services.
* Individuals’ career management skills should be built up through the course of compulsory and lifelong learning as well as career interventions.
* Career management skills should encompass digital literacy and information handling, so people can make best use of online sources.
Future for career guidance
Careers services are under pressure to provide more diverse and personalised information, advice, guidance and support. Their target audiences are increasingly diverse – people at different life stages including workers in different situations.
"Workers in undemanding jobs (low-skilled employment), those wishing to change sectors or seeking to change intensity of work because of changed responsibilities and older workers seeking a career change are all groups which could benefit from improved access to career information, advice and guidance" (Brown and Bimrose, 2011).
Increased scrutiny and evaluation of careers services is likely to result in greater professionalisation of careers practitioners and better coordination and promotion of services, including improved signposting between public, private and voluntary provision. Organisations in England’s new National Career Service will be expected to hold a quality standard, designed to assure users that providers are delivering high quality careers services (Bimrose and Brown et al., 2011).
Careers services are increasingly expected to contribute towards a range of positive social and economic outcomes. One of the challenges facing the careers profession is how to demonstrate return on investment when many of these outcomes are long-term and influenced by many factors outwith their control.
Batterham, J. and Levesley, T. (2011) New Directions: Young People’s and Parent’s Views of Vocational Education and Careers Guidance. City and Guilds Centre for Skills Development, London. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSA2-1/c.aspx>.
Bimrose, J. and Barnes, S. (2008) Adult Career Progression and Advancement: A Five Year Study of the Effectiveness of Guidance. Institute for Employment Research, Warwick. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSA3-1/c.aspx>.
Bimrose, J., Brown, A., Barnes, S. and Hughes, D. (2011) The Role of Career Adaptability in Skills Supply. UKCES Evidence Report No. 35. UK Commission for Employment and Skills, Wath-upon-Dearne. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSA4-1/c.aspx>.
BIS (2011) New Challenges, New Chances: Further Education and Skills System Reform Plan – Building a World Class Skills System. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, London. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSA5-1/c.aspx>.
Brown, A. and Bimrose, J. (2011) ‘Changing Patterns of Guidance, Learning and Careers of Older Workers in Europe’, in Cedefop Working and Ageing: Guidance and Counselling for Mature Learners. European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, Luxembourg. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSA6-1/c.aspx>.
Crowther, K. (2011) Informing Choice in Post-16 Education and Learning. BIS Research Paper No. 49. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, London. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSA7-1/c.aspx>.
Department for Education (2011) Building Engagement, Building Futures. Department for Education, London. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSA8-1/c.aspx>.
Figgis, J. (2012) Reskilling for Encore Careers for (what were once) Retirement Years. NCVER, Adelaide. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSA9-1/c.aspx>.
Finegold, P. (2011) Good Timing: Implementing STEM Careers Strategy in Secondary Schools. Centre for Education and Industry, Warwick. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSAA-1/c.aspx>.
Hirst, A. (2011) Active Labour Market Programmes. Skills Development Scotland, Glasgow. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSAB-1/c.aspx>.
Hooley, T., Hutchinson, J. and Watts, A. (2010) Enhancing Choice? The Role of Technology in the Career Support Market. UK Commission for Employment and Skills, Wath-upon-Dearne. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSAC-1/c.aspx>.
Launikari, M.; Lettmayr, C. and van Loo, J. (2011) ‘Ageing Europe at Work: Guidance to Support Longer Careers of Ageing Workers’ in Cedefop Working and Ageing: Guidance and Counselling for Mature Learners. European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, Luxembourg. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSA6-1/c.aspx>.
McNair, S. (2011) ‘Learning, Work and Later Life in the UK: Guidance Needs of an Ageing Workforce’, in Cedefop Working and Ageing: Guidance and Counselling for Mature Learners. European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, Luxembourg. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSA6-1/c.aspx>.
Scottish Government (2011). Career Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) in Scotland: A Framework for Service Redesign and Improvement. Scottish Government, Edinburgh. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSAD-1/c.aspx>.
UKCES (2011) Helping Individuals to Succeed: Transforming Career Guidance. UK Commission for Employment and Skills, Wath-upon-Dearne. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSAE-1/c.aspx>.
Welsh Assembly Government, 2010, Future Ambitions: Developing Careers Services in Wales. Welsh Assembly Government, Caerphilly. Available here<http://ukces-mail.org.uk/2CU-P9NX-WEY0N-9NSAF-1/c.aspx>.
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