In April 2014 the Government produced a document called ‘Careers Guidance and Inspiration in Schools’ in which they stressed schools are legally required to secure independent careers guidance for all year 8-13 pupils. This referred to the Ofsted report ‘Going in the right direction?’, published in September 2013, which found that the majority of schools needed to do more to ensure that all of their pupils had information on the full range of training and education options and career pathways to help them make informed choices about their future so that they could reach their potential. It is clear from the labour manifesto (April 2015) that both major parties agree that young people are not receiving enough independent advice delivered by careers professionals in order to make sure they have the information available to “make the right choices about their future”. It is also clear that they have identified that in order to provide this help there will need to be a considerable investment, around £50 million, to provide this help to young people.
At Brampton College we strongly agree that young people need this help and over the years have ensured our students have access to our two highly qualified careers staff throughout the year. They are here throughout the year and students can book an appointment to see them whenever they want help. Our careers staff do a great job in opening doors to a wide range of careers at both graduate and technical levels. We still have great success at helping people follow a vocational path into Medicine and Dentistry Science but we do so at the same time as explaining and promoting the idea that our students can use their qualifications to consider numerous careers and destinations.
This year our careers staff have invited speakers to come and talk about various degrees and careers and have supplemented our UCAS workshop days in the summer when we will have more speakers visiting to talk to our students to give them an insight into the wide variety of options open to them before they make their decisions about their future plans. So far we have had speakers from many universities including:
• Corinne Hanlon from Queen Mary speaking about Engineering and alternatives to Medicine
• Liam Walpole from Brunel speaking about Politics and History
• Emma De Havilland from Brunel speaking about Biomedical Sciences
• Dr Guglielmo Volpe from Queen Mary speaking on the range of Economics courses and the application of skills in the employment market – he stressed employment opportunities.
• Ben Ezekiel speaking about different entry routes into accountancy, business consultancy etc and explored A level entry, sponsored degrees and other relevant degrees. He emphasised the need for thorough research and developing a capacity to evaluate experience and develop relevant skills.
• Sophie Canetti gave an insight into the new liberal arts degree at Kings which suits able students with diverse interests who want to develop their learning.
Colleges, like Brampton College, can do this because we have invested heavily in providing this resource to our students. Yet many schools lack the resources and removing careers services from them and making them available on line does not provide the one-to-one help that students and their families need to make well informed decisions. It is good to see that politicians of both parties are gradually adopting the practice we have strongly advocated for years and provided independent, high-quality careers guidance by well qualified staff.
We would agree with the ASCL that removing the expert careers advisers from having a direct link with the school is unwise. We can see the advantage our careers staff give to our students by offering tailored advice and solutions to each individual student which matches their circumstances is best rather than having “one size fits all solutions which have not made the best use of scarce resources.”
Pam Nathan, one of our careers advisors says ‘Having time to listen to the student, getting to know them and open doors to new possibilities is the key to excellent and professional careers advice.’ Both our careers staff ensure they can give up to date advice to our students. In a rapidly changing world this is an essential part of being a professional, independent careers advisor.
At Brampton College guidance is an integral part of the curriculum and always has been we are pleased to see others recognising the same ideals.