Failure to improve careers provision ‘unacceptable’, MPs claim

MPs have criticised the government for failing to address inadequacies in careers guidance for young people.

The Education, Skills and the Economy Committee has been strongly critical of the government for failing to improve provision after a July report highlighted it was poor in many schools across the UK.

The Committee has accused ministers of ‘burying their heads in the sand’ over the issue and is calling on the government to urgently create a careers strategy that includes immediate steps to ensure all young people have access to high quality information, advice and guidance.

Additionally, the Committee believes that Ofsted should introduce a specific judgement on careers information, advice and guidance for secondary schools, with the Common Inspection Framework amended to make clear that a secondary school whose career provision is judged as ‘requires improvement’ or 'inadequate' cannot be judged to be 'outstanding' overall.

Neil Carmichael MP and Iain Wright MP, co-chairs of the Education, Skills and the Economy Committee, said: "The government's lack of action to address failings in careers provision is unacceptable and its response to our report smacks of complacency. Ministers appear to be burying their heads in the sand while careers guidance fails young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and exacerbates the country's skills gap.

"Impartial advice and guidance and high quality careers education is vital if we are to achieve the social mobility and aspiration that the Prime Minister has talked about and vital to creating the skilled workforce needed to grow the economy post-Brexit.

"We are very disappointed that the careers strategy long-promised by government has still not been produced. It is also disappointing that the Government has dismissed our recommendations for holding schools to account through Ofsted inspection and untangling the confusing web of organisations, services providers and websites offering careers advice.

"The government should think again on careers advice, take on board our Committee's conclusions and get its act together to produce a thorough careers strategy, which supports the needs of all young people and the economy as a whole."

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