Fears over careers service shake-up

Changes to school careers guidance have risked “squandering” the futures of young people, a children’s charity has warned.

Barnardo’s said the Government’s decision to axe the duty on local councils to provide a universal careers service was “jeopardising” many people’s chances of getting sustainable work.

The replacement of face-to-face guidance with online or telephone-based services following cuts to the Connexions service has been “wholly inadequate”, a report by the charity claimed.

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Many teenagers were unaware of the career services now available to them, it said.

According to the Helping the Inbetweeners report, young people not destined for higher education or advanced apprenticeships but also not considered most vulnerable to be out-of-work, education or training, were least likely to receive careers guidance.

Barnado’s interviewed 29 young people from across the country and found none of those questioned were aware of the National Careers Service (NCS) website or Government-funded Plotr site.

It said the NCS helpline – which costs up to 40p per minute from a mobile – was “virtually unaffordable” for many young people.

Jonathan Rallings of Barnardo’s said: “Changes to our careers guidance system risk squandering young futures by failing to guarantee sufficient vital face-to-face support for people who need it.”

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