Department for Education
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New taskforce launched to ensure high quality careers advice for young people

'A new taskforce launched yesterday will ensure skilled and motivated careers professionals give all young people high-quality advice', said Schools Minister Iain Wright.

The Careers Profession Taskforce, led by Dame Ruth Silver, chair of the Learning and Skills and Improvement Service, will report its findings to Government in summer 2010.

Iain Wright also announced that three regional roadshow “Big Conversation” events will take place to encourage dozens more employers to offer more and better work experience placements. They will be held in partnership with Business in the Community in Leeds on February 12; in Nottingham on March 16; and in Manchester on March 18.

The taskforce will look at a number of areas including:

  • recruitment and retention of well-qualified careers professionals
  • ensuring that the profession is diverse and reflects the make-up of the working population
  • whether all career specialists should hold a specialist qualification.

Schools Minister Iain Wright told employers and young people at a breakfast event in Downing Street today:

The Taskforce under Dame Ruth will play a key role in ensuring that the next generation of careers professionals can deliver our ambition that all young people get the best advice so that they unlock their potential. I am delighted that she has agreed to accept our invitation.

On the roadshow events, he added:

Good work experience is vital if young people are to discover what the world of work is all about and become really excited by a career. The roadshows will focus on quantity and quality – more employers offering more and better work placements.

Dame Ruth Silver said:

Our careers professionals are vital to ensuring all young people get the good advice they need to make well-informed, thought-through choices and plans that enable them to progress smoothly into further learning and work, now and in the future.
Developing the capacity of the workforce to deliver effective programmes of careers education and personalised Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) for the future is central to success.
IAG and effective careers advice is also key to improving social mobility and reducing inequality by helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds to raise their horizons and by giving them the support they need to fulfil their potential.  There is no reason why any child should not receive that support.

Quality, Choice and Aspiration, the IAG strategy published by DCSF in October 2009, recognised that the quality of provision varies throughout the country.
The Government wants to see IAG improve across the whole country and so will review the quality and effectiveness of local authorities’ delivery of IAG in 2011.
This Taskforce’s work will make an important contribution to developing the skills of the workforce and the delivery of IAG in preparation for that review.
The Taskforce will have 15 other members, drawn from professional bodies, delivery bodies, employers and academia. We will soon be publishing a full list of members alongside the terms of reference. 

Last week’s Government response to the Milburn Report demonstrates the range of action from the New Opportunities White Paper, Higher Education Framework, Schools White Paper as well as the IAG Strategy to improve social mobility and fair access to HE and the professions.

We are introducing an IAG Guarantee, as part of the new Pupil and Parent Guarantees, from September 2011, with clear routes of redress for parents where complaints about failures in delivering the Guarantees have not been properly addressed at local level.

Dame Ruth Silver was formerly the principal of Lewisham College, a large inner-city, vocational further education, double Beacon college in south east London serving a diverse and multi-cultural population. It received an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted Inspection report in May 2006. She also co-chairs the All parliamentary Skills Commission and is a trustee of the Edge Foundation devoted to raising the status of vocational learning. In June 2006 she was awarded a damehood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to further education after being awarded a CBE in 1997.


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