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25 January 2013

Poor careers advice leading to skills mismatch, says CIPD

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has urged the Government to improve careers advice for young people after a survey found more than half of employers said the advice available was “inadequate”.

In addition to the 53% of employers that said they believe young people receive inadequate careers advice, almost two-thirds (63%) said the young people they had recruited “lacked insight” into the working world.

The research was carried out as part of the CIPD’s submission to the Education Select Committee’s report into career guidance for young people, which is published today.

The CIPD has called on the Government to improve the information made available to young people as part of their education, and pointed out that career advice currently available was too general, leading to a skills “mismatch’ and a failure to prepare young people for the jobs market.

It added that a failure to offer adequate information on different sectors and occupations resulted in young people failing to study subjects required for some jobs, and led them to rule out entire sectors as career options due to not knowing what opportunities may be available to them.

The CIPD has recommended that education providers and businesses should work more closely to improve the situation and asked the Government to support organisations such as the Education Employers Taskforce, which enables collaboration between employers and schools.

Peter Cheese, CIPD chief executive, said: “There has never been a golden age of careers advice in schools and, unfortunately, it has failed to develop in response to the increasing complexities of the labour market, causing problems for both young people and employers. There is an already a worrying mismatch between the skills employers need and the skills the next generation of workers are focusing on.

“A critical way to help resolve this is to increase the emphasis on careers advice in schools and to get employers into schools more regularly, bringing to life the natures of different careers, and the generic and specific skills they’re looking for when they recruit.

“The challenge for government is to work with schools and colleges to prioritise and make it easier for employers to make good on their desire to talk to their future workforce.”

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