and The Quality in Careers Standard
Welcome to Careers England
Careers England is the trade association for employer organisations and traders involved in the provision of products and services promoting careers education and guidance in England.
As the only association of specialist career guidance businesses (traders of all sizes from sole-traders through to large employers) in the country, we exist to promote the benefits to the nation of utilising the distinctive skills of such providers. The products and services that our members provide promote social mobility, achievement and economic well-being for people of all ages. Any trader in the careers business is eligible for membership.
We are, therefore, the informed employer voice of careers guidance businesses in England - our Full Corporate members are employers, and our Affiliate members are smaller/sole traders.
From our unique perspective as traders in the careers business, our strategic direction majors upon advocacy of the economic and social benefits of careers information, advice and guidance to the health of the country.
We also advocate strongly the need for an effective strategic framework for careers advice and guidance provision for people of all ages across England.
We work with central and local government, with others involved in the planning and procurement of careers information, advice and guidance services, with policy advisers and with strategic bodies to seek to influence policy details and their implementation. We do so in order to achieve the strategic investment and the policy framework that is essential to the provision of effective advice and guidance services throughout working life.
These are changing and challenging times for everyone involved in publicly-funded careers advice and guidance services. Until the cutbacks made in 2011 to Connexions our members were providing publicly-funded career-related services to young people and/or adults in more than two-thirds of England’s 152 Local Authority areas (those LA areas which include responsibility for Children’s and Young People’s services, formerly described as Local Education Authority areas). These cutbacks had a serious impact upon the availability of careers advisory services for young people, and the ramifications of these are being felt even further today.
We have long advocated the establishment of an all-age careers service for England - and warmly welcomed the Coalition Government's commitment made by the then Minister (John Hayes) in November 2010 to establish an all-age Careers Service for England. That has not come to pass, regrettably. You can find out more about the Coalition's policies for careers guidance in our Policy Commentaries.
The National Careers Service, which went live on 1st April 2012, provides online/web/telephone services for all ages, but face-to-face services only for adults. Our trading members provide the majority of the prime contractors of the NCS, and a number of the sub-contractors too. All providers of the NCS are eligible for membership of Careers England - as are other providers of any form of careers support which is either privately on sale to customers or is publicly-funded by the Government/Local Authorities or other sources of public funds including the European Union.
We continue to seek to influence the Government's implementation of the future arrangements concerning the provision of "independent and impartial careers advice and guidance" for all School students in England (as enacted by the 2011 Education Act). The arrangements under which schools have been required to 'secure' independent careers guidance for their pupils and students from September 2012 continues to need careful monitoring and review. Based upon evidence gathered from and with our members, and the 2013 OFSTED Thematic Survey (see Policy Commentary 23) we are seriously concerned that these arrangements are at risk of failing to form a coherent all-age strategy for careers support for everyone across England. Hence we continue to concentrate our national activities on seeking positive ways to address these crucial issues - and you will find a section on the website (alongside the Quality in Careers Standard information) dedicated to "Careers Guidance in Schools and Colleges" which includes case studies to show good practice in some of England's schools and colleges.
In this website there are also a number of other papers relating to these matters to be found in the "Board, Business Plans and Strategy" sections (many postings are public, some only for Members).
Details about joining Careers England are set out in the "Membership" section. In addition to being open to all traders in the careers business, we also welcome as Associate members individuals and organisations which share our concern to enrich the nation's careers support for all age groups.