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Careers guidance

Young people will always want and need help and support with their progression planning and career development. Incidental and informal learning make a big contribution to the career development of young people but the knowledge and skills they need to manage personal career planning and progression are taught, not caught.

Purpose of careers guidance

Effective careers guidance contributes to raising aspirations, improving motivation and overcoming barriers to success for young people.  Schools have a critical role to play in preparing young people for the next stage of their education or training and beyond. Our expectations are high, including for our most vulnerable and those with special educational needs and disabilities, so that every pupil is challenged appropriately and acquires the knowledge, skills and attitudes for lifelong learning and that employers value. This will help every young person to realise their potential and enhance their employability.

Careers Skills: - Young people need career skills to manage their own careers and to contribute to the well-being of themselves, their families, the communities and the wider society of which they are a part and the environment and the economy. School careers provision, therefore, needs to help young people to develop their self-efficacy, raise their aspirations, carry out career exploration, become more adaptable and resilient, make decisions and transitions, be more enterprising and be able to present themselves well in applications and interviews.

Employability Skills: -the 'transferable skills' needed by an individual to make them 'employable'. The top 10 skills that employers want and seek in potential employees (ref STEMNET, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network, working with a range of UK companies) are:

  1. Communication and interpersonal skills
  2. Problem solving skills
  3. Using your initiative and being self-motivated
  4. Organisational skills
  5. Working under pressure and to deadlines
  6. Team working
  7. Ability to learn and adapt
  8. Numeracy
  9. Valuing diversity and difference
  10. Negotiation Skills

Definition of careers guidance

pdf icon Careers guidance and inspiration in schools, DfE Statutory guidance for governing bodies, school leaders and staff' [338kb] [pdf], March 2015 defines Careers Advice and Guidance as:

'Careers Advice and guidance refers to a coherent programme of activities that inform, inspire and motivate young people, preparing them for work and helping them to understand where different education and training choices could take them in the future.'

In 2012 the DfE and Ofsted in their thematic report pdf icon 'Going in the Right Direction? Careers guidance in schools from September 2012' [423kb] [pdf], published September 2013 defined Careers Guidance as

'..services and activities intended to assist individuals of any age and at any point throughout their lives to make education, training and occupational choices and to manage their careers. The activities may take place on an individual or group basis and may be face-to-face or at a distance (including help lines and web-based services). They include careers information provision, assessment and self-assessment tools, counselling interviews, careers education programmes, taster programmes, work search programmes and transition services.'

Statutory responsibilities of the Governing Body

The Careers Guidance statutory duty requires the governing body to ensure that all registered pupils at the school are provided with independent1 careers guidance from year 8 (12-13 year olds) to year 13 (17-18 year olds).

The governing body must ensure that the independent careers guidance provided:

  • Is  presented in an impartial2 manner
  • Includes information on the range of education or training options, including apprenticeships and other vocational pathways
  • Is guidance that the person giving it considers will promote the best interests of the pupils to whom it is given.

1 Independent is defined as external to the school. External sources of careers guidance and inspiration could include employer visits, mentoring, website, telephone and helpline access. Taken together, these external sources could include information on teh range of education and training options, including apprenticeships.

2 Impartial is defined as showing no bias or favouritism towards a particular education or work option.

Duty to participate in education or training after 16

The Government has raised the participation age (RPA) so that all young people in England are now required to continue in education or training beyond the age of 16. Young people who left year 11 in summer 2013 are expected to remain in education or training for a further year after the compulsory school leaving age and pupils starting year 11 or below in September 2013 will need to continue until their 18th birthday.

The school recognises that young people need to be clear about the duty and what it means for them. In particular pupils must be clear that young people are not required to stay in school; that they can choose how to participate which might be through:

  • Full time study in a school, college or training provider;
  • An apprenticeship, traineeship or supported internship;
  • Full time work or volunteering (20 hours or more) combined with part time accredited study.
Useful downloads
Careers guidance and inspiration in schools [338kb] [pdf]
DfE Statutory guidance for governing bodies, school leaders and school staff - March 2015
Careers guidance and inspiration in schools - non-statutory advice [338kb] [pdf]
DfE (2015) Careers guidance and inspiration in schools: Statutory guidance for governing bodies, school leaders and school staff.
Career, work related learning and enterprise 11-19: A framework to support economic well-being. [583kb] [pdf]
Guidance produced by QCA for curriculum managers and coordinators of careers, work related learning and enterprise. It provides a new framework to support schools in planning programmes for economic well-being.
Download Adobe Reader
  • Cegnet
  • National Careers Service
  • Department for Education National Curriculum website

North Yorkshire County Council, County Hall, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 8AE | Tel: 0845 8 72 73 74 | Fax: 01609 797141