With the recession still looming, high street shops closing, university fee’s increasing, the national careers service Connexions all but closing and employment opportunities on the decrease (in most sectors) where do we see the future for our school leavers?
For the young people of 2011 leaving school is probably the most daunting prospect, why, well because where can they apply too for work? I’m not talking about graduates, no, but the youngsters that don’t want to or can’t afford to go to university.
Not all parents understand the employment market or can advise their children of where to go next; employment, apprenticeship, vocational course or university so instead most school leavers can access Connexions, it’s the Government service set up to help and advice children on what to do next. Connexions help with CV’s, work experience, interview techniques, university applications, and funding for young people with differing abilities, or at least they did until the funding was removed from central Government.
Now, speaking to friends that are teachers and contacts at Connexions I know that things are changing. After two rounds of redundancies, specifically in Connexions in the North West, my sources say the Government is looking to close down Connexions altogether and if schools want careers advice then they need to allocate budget for it! So where will our young people be then....advise-less, career-less and probably future-less.
The young people I mention are not the ones that have supportive families or knowledgeable parents instead, a lot of the work Connexions does is with vocational courses to help young people that don’t have the support or guidance. These young people don’t necessarily have obvious qualifications but instead can bring a raft of other skills to the work force that we need, that companies want but that need assistance matching them together.
Whilst the Government claims to want to help these young people removing one of the key service that does, whilst also adding the people who are careers experts to the unemployment line is not the way, surely? It’s a real shame that, to date, the Government haven’t made any provisions for the future of the country. Instead cutting costs now and devolving the service that seeks to help them will surely only make the situation worse, not better, and offer no direction for these young people for the future.