Skip to main content

Education Committee launches new inquiry on careers education in schools

27 January 2022

The Education Committee launches an inquiry into careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) for children and young people. 

The new inquiry will explore whether current careers advice provides young people with sufficient guidance about career choices, employment, training, and further and higher education opportunities.  

It will also look at how arrangements for CEIAG could better support disadvantaged or left-behind groups to access career opportunities that may otherwise not be available to them. 

The cross-party Committee will also examine proposals for CEIAG in the Government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper, and whether there is adequate funding to support effective CEIAG. 

Chair's comment

Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Committee, said:  

“Despite the great efforts of all those individuals and organisations involved in providing careers guidance and support, the truth is that careers guidance policy is not for purpose in this country. We will never create a parity of esteem between vocational and technical skills and academic learning until we change the culture of careers.

“The hundreds of millions spent by the Government is not always providing value for money due to unnecessary duplication of efforts, and traditional thinking. 

“What is needed is a sea-change of careers advice which puts ‘skills, skills, skills’ first and foremost. The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, currently progressing through Parliament requires only one careers meeting per pupil over three key year groups. Instead, we should see at least three careers meetings per pupil, per year, involving colleges, technical education providers and apprenticeship providers. This would show we mean business when it comes to supporting our young people with their futures.

“This inquiry will be a root and branch review of the current system, not just looking closely at the data and outcomes for young people, but it will also set out a plan for the future.” 

Terms of reference

The Committee welcomes written submission on the following questions via its website. You don’t have to answer all of the questions. You can respond on behalf of an organisation, or as an individual. 

  • Whether the current system of careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) is serving young people, particularly: 
  • those from disadvantaged backgrounds; 
  • those who are known to the care system; 
  • those who are not in mainstream education, including home-educated pupils and those in alternative provision; 
  • those from different ethnic minority backgrounds; and 
  • those who have a special educational need or disability. 
  • Whether and how the Government should bring responsibility for CEIAG under one body, for example a National Skills Service, to take overall responsibility for CEIAG for all ages, and how this might help young people navigate the CEIAG system. 
  • Whether such a National Skills Service is best placed in the Department for Education or the Department of Work and Pensions to avoid duplication of work. 
  • Whether organisations like the Careers Enterprise Company and National Careers Service provide value for money to the taxpayer. 
  • How careers and skills guidance could be better embedded in the curriculum across primary, secondary, further, higher and adult education, to ensure all learners are properly prepared for the world of work 
  • How schools could be supported to better fulfil their duties to provide careers advice and inform students of technical, as well as academic, pathways. 
  • How the Baker Clause could be more effectively enforced 
  • How the Government can ensure more young people have access to a professional and independent careers advisor and increase the take-up of the Lifetime Skills initiative. 
  • Whether the proposals for CEIAG in the Government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper will effectively address current challenges in the CEIAG system. 
  • Whether greater investment to create a robust system of CEIAG is needed, and how could this be targeted, to create a stronger CEIAG.

Further information

Image: CCO