Union fears new initiative is doomed to failure without massive investment


The government’s new National Careers Service has a mountain to climb if it is to deliver decent careers services for young people, according to UNISON.

With unemployment among 16-25 year olds at record levels, and more than a million young people struggling to find work, the union is warning the new service looks to be a flimsy replacement for the now decimated Connexions service.

At a time when youth unemployment is at a record high over 4000 careers professional have already lost their jobs and a further 4000 are at risk over the next year.  The government is intent on cutting public services and has ignored the interests of young people as well as potential employers and educators.

UNISON Head of Education Jon Richards said: “The government has handed over responsibility for providing careers advice to schools, but without the money to make it work. Many schools are totally unprepared and the National Careers Service will not fill the gap that is left.

“To make it worse the decimation of the Connexions service means that current careers advice for young people is a shambles in many areas. Just when our young people need it most, hundreds of thousands across England will have either very limited, or even no access to ‘face-to-face’ career guidance.

“The class of 2012 will be the least informed about their career options at a time when they need to know the most.”

Research by UNISON revealed that of 144 local authorities only 15 will maintain what the researchers termed as a “substantial” universal careers service, and at least a third have reduced or removed the universal element of the Connexions service. More than 100 councils have reduced staffing levels and 50 have closed Connexions centres.

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