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Careers advice must adapt to the Ever-changing world

Category: Career Experts, Advice, servey, talent

Careers advice must adapt to the Ever-changing world

With more young people relying on "outdated" careers advice, the Telegraph has launched a survey to find out how support can be improved across the country

"The more I talk with parents, the more I realise that knowledge about careers is firmly in the past," says Francesca Campalani, emerging talent manager at Lloyds Banking Group.

"Careers decisions are still influenced by vocations such as medicine, law and education, it’s like all the new opportunities haven’t touched schools and parents. That's why it's important that we have a discussion now and give people in education a voice," she says.

As Ms Campalani highlights, careers advice across the country is a mixed bag. Indeed, research last year found that careers advice received at school is neither relevant nor at pace with young people's demands.

According to the survey by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), although 14-19 year olds are broadly optimistic about their prospects, 84 per cent said they would like more advice from their school or college regarding their future options.

Furthermore, a quarter of young people admitted that their parents were the biggest influencers in career decisions, despite the fact that, in many cases, parents' advice could be outdated and misinformed.

Dr Alex Linley, CEO of Capp and Jobmi, says that due to the rapidly changing world of work, it's important that careers advice becomes a priority and adapts to fit the needs of the next generation to enter the work force.

"New jobs are emerging, new career paths are emerging. There are opportunities for young people that weren’t on the horizon, certainly five years ago but possibly even two years ago," he says.

"It's easy to get careers advice wrong," he continues, "to rely on stereotypes and to rely on knowledge of jobs that have always been there. But the most important thing for young people, is to be open to possibilities."

In recognition of the challenge posed by employability, various initiatives have been launched. Last year, the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) launched a programme – Primary Futures – to give primary schoolchildren a grounding in the world of work.

The initiative promised to connect teachers with volunteers in business and other industries, in order to give children the opportunity to learn about the roles available.

A careers and enterprise company for schools was also announced in December by Nicky Morgan, the education secretary.

Aimed at those aged between 12 and 18, the company will encouraging greater collaboration between schools, colleges and employers in order to give teenagers the opportunity to access the most up-to-date advice and support.

It is this engagement between business and education that Ms Campalani is most keen to encourage.

"We need to find out if there is a disconnect between what employers are expecting of young people and what young people believe they should be doing," she says. "Businesses really need to offer support and help, but this doesn’t mean simply selling young people positions in banks; it means educating them about the opportunities that are available in all sectors."

In order to examine careers advice provision across the UK, the Telegraph has joined forces with Lloyds to conduct a nationwide survey among secondary schools.

Developed in partnership with Jobmi.com, the 2015 Employability Survey will ask teachers, pupils and parents critical questions, such as: How effective is current careers advice? How do young people actually decide on their careers? How can they be supported in finding a route that will play to their strengths?

Every school that submits at least 20 responses from its staff, students and parents will be entered into a prize draw to win one of two iMacs.

It is hoped that the results of the survey will help inform future career provision in schools, whilst also giving business leaders concrete ways they can engage with education.

Dr Linley says that it’s easy for employability skills to get ignored in schools, simply due to the various pressures that schools are under to deliver the academic curriculum. However, he also says that it isn't an "impossible situation to change".

"I’ve met many people who have graduated from university, who are very capable academically, but who lack some of the fundamental employability skills that would get them through the door and into a career.

"Business and educational professionals now need to look at what else we can be doing to provide tools and support and information to schools, which will help them to deliver careers advice more effectively."

• Take part in the 2015 Employability Survey here

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