May 26 2013 Latest news:
by Sara Odeen-Isbister , Reporter
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Choosing what career to embark on is a daunting prospect for many teenagers. There are plenty of opportunities out there but knowing what option is best for you and how to pursue it is not always clear.
It was therefore worrying to hear that, according to a recent survey by City and Guilds, one in four teenagers in Britain say they have never received careers advice.
Out of 1,620 15-to-19-year-olds, 22 per cent of those studying for A-level and university courses said they had not been given careers guidance, which rose to 28 per cent for those taking apprenticeships.
Careers advice can come from a number of sources, including parents and the web, but the government, which this month admitted much guidance is “poor quality and patchy”, believes schools are the best placed to offer impartial and independent advice. Next year, therefore, schools will be given a legal duty to offer careers support to their pupils.
Jason Gunn, careers adviser and assistant head at Warren School in Chadwell Heath says careers guidance is already a big focus at the school.
He added: ”Students are given advice from Year 8 to Year 12. In Years 8, 10 and 11, for example, groups of 15 work with an adviser, who talks to them about options.
“We also run drop-in sessions, hold mock interviews, give tips on writing CVs and invite past pupils to talk about the path they’ve taken.”
Sydney Russell School, in Dagenham, is also working hard to help their students make the right training and career choices.
Business studies teacher, Brenda Cowen, said: “We offer a variety of careers support from Year 7 to 12.
“I run careers assemblies, for example, which are followed up with work in form time. On top of this we offer one-to-one support, mock interviews and help on writing CVs among other things.
“We try hard to raise the pupils aspirations, while at the same time being realistic. If for example they want to be a vet, but will find it hard to achieve the grades, we look at other options available in a similar field.”
Ms Cowen says she would like to see more outings to employers in the future: “We’ve taken pupils to businesses like Ford in the past. It’s great to inspire them.”
Over at Barking and Dagenham College, in Rush Green, careers advisers identify “vulnerable” students who, for example, might be struggling or unhappy in a course, and offer them one-to-one guidance.
Julie Maling, head of opportunities support said: “We’ll try and motivate them, talk about other career options and create an action plan. It’s important to approach these students as soon as possible, to stop them giving up completely.”
The college also offers a drop-in careers advice service every day during college time and on some evenings.
Ms Maling added: “Good careers advice and support is vital, especially in today’s job climate. It’s something we take very seriously.”
One student, who did not want to be named, said outside the college: “I’m fairly happy with the career advice here. There are people available to speak to if any questions need to be answered.”
Another one said: “I think there is enough careers advice, but I can see why some people may disagree. They focus on certain future prospects rather than covering them all in detail.”
This article features as part of the Post campaign Choose Your Future.
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