Are you up to date with your careers advice?

By Morwenna Evans Thursday, May 29, 2014

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If you're a parent, than according to a recent report, the answer is probably no. A recent article by the BBC discussed the role of parental influence in the decision making of young people when considering their future careers. A report by the Association of Colleges revealed that 70% of young people trust in their parents’ advice on this subject. The report revealed however that uninformed parents can in fact hinder their child’s chances of success by limiting their child’s horizons through an out-dated view of the job market.

Some 70% of young people trust their parents for job advice, says the Association of Colleges (AoC) report. Careers advisers should liaise with local employers and update parents and pupils about local jobs markets and emerging industries, urge the authors. "Uninformed family members can hinder a child's ambitions," they warn. Parents can sometimes "push" their children "towards careers that are seen to be safe or traditional, but possibly not best suited to the individual or taking into account emerging industries", they argue.

The authors drew on an AoC survey earlier this year and carried out in-depth interviews with parents, children and careers specialists at colleges in Barking and Dagenham, Middlesbrough and Weymouth. The survey of just over 2,000 secondary pupils in England found only 49% felt well informed about what jobs are available.

The AoC says the young people interviewed wanted "drastic changes" to careers advice, including better links with employers, the chance to "have a go" at real jobs, longer-term work experience and relevant local information.

The findings follow repeated warnings about weaknesses in careers advice from bodies ranging from Ofsted to the Confederation of British Industry and the Education Select Committee. In 2012 schools were given statutory responsibility for giving independent careers information to students. Before then local authorities had provided careers services to schools, mainly through local Connexions Services.

The report says there is no systematic checking on the statutory duty and raises concerns that students are not getting enough information about vocational routes such as apprenticeships or courses offered in further education colleges.

The researchers say the young people they interviewed were aware of career opportunities in jobs they had actually seen in their daily lives, such as teachers, police officers or hairdressers. However, they had little idea what jobs were available to them locally or which companies and industries were the largest employers.

Ms Sutton said the report showed young people felt they needed "more practical guidance" about how to go about researching jobs and the steps they needed to take. "It's our responsibility as adults to become better informed about the local jobs market to be able to offer more relevant realistic and timely advice."

Maths Doctor recently reported on young people’s increased chances of success in the job market if they are confident in mathematics. We believe that it is extremely important for parents to understand the opportunities available for young people as well as highlighting them to their children. What are your experiences? Do you feel clued up on the job market?

Categories: Maths-Careers