Improvements to Careers Advice Services to be Tackled by 2020

career adviceBack in 2013, research revealed that a massive 93% of students said that they did not receive adequate careers advice. It was stated that only a quarter had been spoken to about apprenticeships while 17% had gained information on vocational studies. This was a stark contrast to the 65% who had been given information on university studies and A-level options. As Britain settles itself into another set of education policies, the issue of how careers advice will be tackled over the next five years has been prevalent for many. In recognition of this issue, has developed a number of advice portals to help young people: World of Word, BEACH, TakeOFF and Pathway. We take a look at what young people can expect from career guidance services over the next five years and the opportunities that have been presented.

Pledge summary

Unlike a coalition government where certain policies can be bartered or compromised, the majority government must deliver every education promise. With this in mind, the next five years are likely to change UK education dramatically. There will now be a large focus on skills, training and real on-the-job training to help the 963,000 (Dec 2014) 16 to 24-year-olds who are currently not in education, employment or training.

The following education and advice pledges have been announced:

  • Jobcentre Plus advisers will work with schools and colleges to provide careers advice and pathways into experience and apprenticeships
  • £5 million investment fund to support innovation and good practice
  • Promote the use of Department for Education measures data to help pupils transition to higher education, training or employment
  • A pledge to publish earnings and destination data on courses via the creation of the Careers and Enterprise Company careers guidance service
  • Maintain per pupil funding for four to 16 year-olds across state schools – 16 to 18 funds will not be ring fenced
  • Remove cap on university student numbers
  • The introduction of three million additional apprenticeship places by 2020
  • 500 additional free schools with be created while 3,000 state schools will be turned into academies
  • A government-led wed-based national database portal will be introduced to provide information on the full range of opportunities available
  • Further changes to the curriculum which will come into force for 15 to 16-year-olds from September 2015.

Skills and training

The university-centric attitude that has prevailed in the UK may ease by a fresh focus on apprenticeship places in the UK. During the campaign trail, David Cameron announced that 50,000 apprenticeships would be funded using fines imposed on Deutshe Bank for its involvement in financial rigging.

Education and business will be integrated together in a number of ways by 2020. Former education secretary, Michael Gove has discussed bringing businesses into schools to provide careers advice as a way to reinvigorate traditional one-to-one chats while simultaneously engaging students.

He told a Select Committee in 2015 that if links could be improved “between business or other employers and school”, employment and career prospects can improve. “Nothing is more inspiring or helpful than hearing from individuals in a particular area about the opportunities that they have to offer.”

Challenges ahead

While a large influx in fresh apprenticeships is needed in the UK to increase flagging productivity output and large skills gaps in certain industries, including construction, science and engineering, education in Britain is likely to be hit by spending cuts by 2020. Young people have been placed at the centre of policies while adult education could be severely hit by up to 24% of cuts next year, with the loss of 190,000 adult education places, according to the Association of Colleges. Courses in public services, care, information technology and health are forecasted to be hit hardest.

With the removal of the cap on university student numbers, university places are expected to increase dramatically alongside apprenticeship efforts. This may hinder attempts to alter the UK’s dominant university culture. Despite ambitious pledges to increase skill training back in 2010 and campaigning efforts during National Apprenticeship Week to rebalance the UK workforce, only 1 in 10 employers provide apprenticeship schemes while record university student numbers were recorded in 2014: 412,170 people.


These figures call for a pressing need for comprehensive career guidance. While state career guidance will continue to be investigated in schools and colleges, independent careers advice portals have steadily improved through the years. pride ourselves on our range of career advice portals that work alongside local businesses. If you need guidance on your own career path, please take a look at World of Work, Pathways, TakeOFF, and Brighton Employability Advice and Careers Hut (BEACH) for more information.

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