SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS
- Students leave the educational system without the skills necessary for work and life
- Existing recruitment practices hinder upward mobility
- Make alternative qualifications system coherent, accessible and business-friendly
- Reduce unfairness between academic and vocational routes to work, particularly in funding
- Ensure apprenticeships remain high-quality
- Reduce inequality between academic and vocational routes to work
- Improve careers guidance and advice for young people
- Work experience is essential.
- Make transitions work for those in the middle
- Preparation for the work place needs to begin as early as possible.
- Increase market transparency with destinations data for schools and colleges
- Increase employment involvement with schools in the transition to work
(i) vocational routes to work which are robust and high quality, do not close down future opportunities, and lead to worthwhile destinations. The work of the Sainsbury led review should contribute to this.
(ii) meaningful experiences of work, organised between the student, the school and a local employer, including work placements and work-based training. Any work experiences undertaken must have a clear aim and objective to prepare young people for work and life.
(b) A new gold standard in independent careers advice and guidance, supported by a robust evidence base and drawing on existing expertise, which moves responsibility away from schools and colleges (which would require legislative change) in order to ensure that students are given independent advice about the different routes and qualifications available, to include:
(i) independent, face-to-face, careers advice, which provides good quality, informed advice on more than just academic routes, so that individuals are able to make decisions based on sound knowledge of what is available.
(ii) a single access point for all information on vocational options, including the labour market returns on qualifications.
(c) Improved careers education in schools, to empower young people to make good choices for themselves, to include:
(i) information on labour market returns, which would include information about the financial prospects of different options, to inform and motivate young people.
(ii) data on local labour markets to inform the teaching of Life Skills, skills for life, and careers education.