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Why education providers need to look externally for careers advice support

6th November 2019

Traditional careers advice is in disarray. But independent and commercial careers assessment tools can bridge the information gap.

Good careers advice is absolutely essential to young people as they start to make decisions that will set them on the course of their professional lives. However, research indicates a somewhat worrying state of affairs in the careers advice field.

The facts are disturbing

A study showed that 41 per cent of workers today wish that they had received more help and guidance before they selected their chosen career path. Research by CareerBuilder also found that 25 per cent of high school students have ‘no idea’ about their future career path. Only recently, the Education & Employers Taskforce also found a ‘massive’ mismatch between the career expectations (and particularly, salary expectations) of young people and the reality of the labour market. These insights clearly highlight the need for a far better careers advice service and a closure of the current careers information gap.

Bridging the gap between business and education

Schools have had to deal with a changing remit in recent years, against a backdrop of budget cuts, changing government priorities and education models. Today, they are working to bridge the gap between business and education, and re-positioning their role accordingly so that students are ready to make the transition from school to work. As an example, 82 per cent of businesses and 73 per cent of schools already believe that secondary schools should offer work experience to all pupils under 16 years old. But employers find that there is still a fundamental mismatch between skills and qualifications, with the vast majority believing that young people need greater guidance in choosing their fields of study and linking up their educational routes with available work opportunities in the future.

Parents struggling to help

At the same time, parents report that they don’t feel comfortable advising their children about future careers. This is hardly surprising since so many of the careers available today simply weren’t even in existence when the baby boomer generation were at school. This further contributes to the inability of today’s students to make confident choices in the disciplines that will lead them towards the right job. They simply lack the information that they need in order to do this with any degree of accuracy.

The changing face of careers advice

Schools historically utilised in-house careers advisors who were specifically tasked with helping young people to make these vital decisions, providing information, insight and data to assist with planning. However, these services are now delivered in a variety of other ways. These range from online and digital resources, through to the more traditional face-to-face support appointments offered by agencies such as the National Careers Service which are typically accessed by older people.

This leaves school provision in disarray. The CBI has commented that traditional schools-based career advice is now on ‘life support.’ It has emphasised the need for independent services to help better prepare young people for the realities of what lies ahead for them in a challenging economic environment and rapidly changing working world.

Happily, there are now independent tools that exist to help education providers to bridge the careers information gap and significantly improve the provision of careers advice and guidance services – quickly and cost-effectively.

We have launched a new career and personality assessment called What Job Fits Me ( to help you understand your job fit!

Based on the “Big 5 Theory” of personality and with over 12 Million assessments completed worldwide, this free careers and personality assessment helps you to understand which jobs fit you the best.

Its free for you to try and you will get access to a range of free scores and reports so you can begin to understand your unique combination of strengths, which jobs are a good fit for you and even which careers will pay you the best so that you can begin to discover your full potential.

So if you are a school, college or private education provider, the tools that you need to give your students the best start in life now exist in a new, impactful form that will actually deliver results.

Filed in: Career advice • Tags:

About the Author:

Nikky van Bommel is the Marketing Director for Big 5 Assessments and has worked in the Psychometric Testing industry for over 10 years. Nikky is responsible for all marketing and social media for the organisation.

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