CBI calls for careers advice overhaul

Director general calls for ‘urgent transformation’ of skills in her new year message

Careers advice in schools needs to be reformed as part of measures to tackle the UK’s skills “emergency”, the head of a leading business group has said.

Caroline Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, said weaknesses in supporting young people into work had existed for years, but the changing nature of jobs had made the situation “critical”.

In an end-of-year message to CBI members, she said the top priority must be the “urgent transformation” of skills.

“The clock may be ticking on Brexit but it is ticking just at fast in our schools, colleges, universities and workplaces,” she said.

“The CBI will be campaigning for reformed careers advice in schools and to ensure every young person gets quality guidance and at least four interactions with working life by the age of 16, in every nation of the UK.

“We will also champion the effective delivery of higher-quality technical education, including T-levels in England, a reformed apprenticeship levy and real progress on mass adult reskilling.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Our ambitious new careers strategy, which was launched in early December, means schools and colleges will have a dedicated careers leader in place to help young people make the right choices for their future.

“Additionally, from January 2018, a new legal requirement will mean schools must give providers the chance to talk to pupils about technical qualifications and apprenticeships, an integral part of increasing awareness of these routes.”

[“Source-tes”]