Q: The Government is suggesting that students can use a telephone or web based service to get their careers advice. So why bother to pay for careers guidance?
A: Careers Guidance should not be confused with careers information. Would the public accept only a web-based consultation with their GP? Would anyone seriously suggest psychotherapy services operate via a call centre? A careers guidance interview is an in-depth discussion – a mix of counselling, job interview, pep talk and a way for young people to reflect on their skills. For some, it challenges their misconceptions, and also the misconceptions they’ve been fed by other people.
The process of decision-making about learning and work choices is different from simply gathering information and it can be as, if not more, difficult for people today than in the past. Career paths are more disjointed now and, as opportunity pathways and barriers increase, so does the complexity of the process.
A face to face service is goal orientated. A skilled careers advisor will seek to motivate and enthuse someone in how to achieve their goals and to address potential barriers.
Q: What is the difference between Careers Guidance and Careers Information?
A: CAREERS GUIDANCE: Person-centred guidance and counselling interventions, which support and enable effective decisions by individuals about learning and work.
CAREERS INFORMATION: Print or ICT based services and materials providing information on learning and work, courses of study and vocational training, wider development opportunities and financial support.
Q: What does the new Education Act say about a school’s responsibilities for careers guidance?
A: From September 2012, schools will be required to secure access to impartial and independent careers guidance for every pupil in years 9 to 11. The guidance must include information on all 16 to 18 educational training options, including apprenticeships.
The Act states that the governing body of a school will have the freedom to decide how best to fulfil their new duty to secure access to impartial and independent careers guidance for every pupil in years 9 to 11 in accordance with the needs of their pupils, engaging, where appropriate, in partnership with external, expert providers. The key words are impartial and independent. This means that the advice must come from a source other than an employee of the school.
The rationale for this is based on evidence showing that, while many schools provide excellent careers education, they do not necessarily have expert advisors who can provide guidance for pupils on the full range of post-16 options for further and higher education and the labour market.
Q: There are a number of Careers providers why should I use Careers Plus?
A: As well as providing a first class competitively priced service, Careers Plus will provide a bespoke careers package for schools based upon the budget available. However, Careers Plus is unique in also offering both a ‘Quality Standard Guarantee’ and a ‘Free Trial Offer’.
(1) The ‘Quality Standard Guarantee for schools
Careers Plus is the only Careers provider that offers a quality standard guarantee for schools. Schools can measure the quality of my service through anonymous post careers interview questionnaires which are provided to all students after their careers guidance meeting. Schools will also be offered the opportunity to spot observe any interviews at their discretion if they wish to.
(2) The Careers Plus ‘Free Trial Offer’
Careers Plus offers any School a ‘Free Trial Offer’ – Schools can take up the offer of a no obligation 3 day trial at no cost. This will enable any school to assess the ‘value’ of the Careers Plus service and ‘try for free’ before committing to a longer term arrangement. The School will be under no obligation to purchase a service beyond the initial three days.
Q: How can I ‘measure’ the difference your service will make to my school?
A: Objective measures include –
(1) Completion of Post 16 Destination records for each student; (2) An Action Plan provided for each student guidance interview; (3) Reduced levels of post 16 NEETS.
Subjective measures include – (1) Completion of Student post interview questionnaires which measure student satisfaction; (2) Positive, motivated and informed students better able to make objective careers decisions for themselves.