Education & Family

Boris Johnson backs 100-hour careers plan

Boris Johnson Image copyright PA
Image caption Boris Johnson is backing calls for impartial, individual careers advice

Every young person in London should have at least 100 hours of careers advice or work experience by the age of 16, says Boris Johnson.

The London mayor is launching a report emphasising the importance of giving young people information about getting a job when they leave school.

The report calls for "impartial, independent and personalised careers education".

Mr Johnson says there needs to be an "easy to navigate" careers system.

The London Ambitions report sets out a blueprint for establishing a more substantial role for careers education, in both primary and secondary school.

'Raw deal'

The plan calls for a fixed entitlement, after fears that careers is an area too easily neglected.

Mr Johnson describes it as a "pragmatic way to tackle some of the challenges that young people face when trying to make the right career choices".

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption London's workforce is increasingly competing for graduate jobs

The proposals would establish a right to at least 100 hours of careers information, including one-to-one advice, talks from employers, work-related guidance or time spent in work experience.

Schools should have a published careers policy, showing information such as links with local businesses, and schools should have a designated governor responsible for careers.

The report also calls for all secondary schools to have up-to-date, accessible information about the local jobs market, which could be used by pupils, parents and teachers.

There should also be more co-operation between groups of schools to share ideas and expertise.

The report highlights that London's labour market is different from the rest of the country. The workforce in the capital is younger, better educated and more international than anywhere else in the country.

The type of jobs available are increasingly likely to require high levels of qualifications or skills. The report says that by 2022, 60% of jobs in London will be at degree level.

The report argues that young people need to understand their local jobs market so that they can make informed choices.

'Moral purpose'

Report author, Deirdre Hughes, said: "There is a clear moral, social and economic purpose to improving careers provision for all young Londoners.

"Support for young people has stalled and most are getting a raw deal. It is not enough to just to pay lip service to careers support for them.

"More young people must be given the chance to gain more experiences of the world of work and be inspired to see possibilities and goals that are worthwhile and relevant to them."

Russell Hobby, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, backed the report's call for advice to start in primary school.

"There is widespread agreement that there's a real benefit in talking to children at an early age about the jobs they might do when they're grown up and how important their primary school learning really is in terms of future opportunities. Careers advice shouldn't have to wait until children get to secondary school."

The report follows successive warnings that the careers system needs to be strengthened and that a lack of good advice is a barrier to social mobility.

Last week the head of the CBI said that careers education needed to be taken much more seriously - and the education select committee has warned that careers services have been neglected.

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