Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Career Advice!

The BBC news website reported two news stories on the subject of career advice and chosen careers which got me thinking:

Now I can’t say I am shocked by these findings as I have thought this for some time and it’s quite funny how these stories which are so related came out in the same week. I believe that career advice has been inadequate for some time and big changes need to be made if we are going to get young people in to the right careers and get unemployment levels down.

The education system seems to have a one size fits all approach with students forced to become jack of all trades and master of none in a race to look good in the school league tables. The only thing schools get graded on are exam grades and not what careers their students go in to so the only thing they are interested in is there results. Until schools get graded or rewarded based on what careers their students go in to they aren’t going to invest time in proper career advice and nor should they have to if they aren’t getting the right reward for it.

Employers are looking for young people who are highly skilled and educated in specific areas not people who are moderately skilled in many areas. Young people aren’t informed about this at school though or told enough about what qualifications you need for certain jobs. This is the information young people need to be equipped with to get ahead in the market place but the school system keeps them in the dark with the blinkers on in order to make sure they try their best at all subjects so they can get highest league table place possible. If young people were armed with this information they probably wouldn’t try as hard at the subjects they didn’t need but improve vastly in the areas that were linked to their career choice.

Yes young people need to be able to be flexible and adapt in this ever changing world so need as many skills as possible but they also need to have strong skills in the areas they want to work in. The other information young people need is to be told how much certain jobs pay and how accessible these jobs are in the local area as it may be a young person is investing time getting ready for an occupation which may not pay enough to support them or may not be available locally. Young people need to be made more aware of the work place and schools need to devote time to career studies on a regular basis. Every pupil at school should have to go to career advice mandatory and career advice shouldn’t be something that is optional and hidden away.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

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