The aftermath has arrived. Six years after the severe cuts to careers education and guidance services in England we now have a generation of learners between the ages of 16-22 who came through their school years with arguably sub-standard careers education and guidance provision. So, it is no surprise to those who educate and train young people, that the Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy (ESE) has concluded ‘that inadequate careers guidance in many English schools is exacerbating skills shortages and having a negative impact on the country’s productivity.’

For years we have listened to the FE and Skills Sector bellowing that they inherit learners who did not achieve good enough English and maths grades despite 12 years of studying these, day after day, and yet, they are under pressure to reverse this in 2-3 years.  Well, here we are again, only this time, young people have not had the benefit of robust careers education and guidance programme, never mind day after day exposure to ‘employability skills’.

REED NCFE welcome the Government’s intention to publish its careers strategy, and better still, want to respond with the education and careers expertise of these two respected and specialist companies. Given the recommendations include ‘Ensuring advice and guidance is grounded in accurate information about the labour market’ and ‘Giving young people the opportunity to understand better the world of work, through encounters with employers and meaningful work experience opportunities’, the services and learning programmes developed by REED NCFE tackle these head on.

All learners about to embark on superlative careers education learning, need exposure to interesting, engaging and up to date careers material and know their starting point for learning. Wouldn’t it be better if we can accurately and objectively measure this starting point?

REED NCFE recently launched a new Baseline Employability Skills Test (BESTest) and in response to the recent condemnation of careers education are offering all generalist FE Colleges a free trial of 1,000 assessments. This psychometric tool is designed to accurately and objectively assess and establish a learners ‘job readiness’, assess where their learning needs are, aid curriculum planning and finally measure the impact of learning and distance travelled within employability skills.

In addition, REED NCFE also provide blended learning solutions, to help address where BESTest indicates the most need. These learning programmes are built on the principles of mindset and are progression focussed. They are bullet proofed by both labour market and educational expertise and underpinned by Ofsted standards and the Gatsby benchmarks.

It is time to reverse the negative effects of the last 6 years, strengthen the provision of careers education and ensure our young people can enter the labour market seamlessly with the mindset to reach their career high.

Contact us on 0191 605 3300 to find out how you can take advantage of your free BESTest assessments.

Tom Millar is Managing Director at REED NCFE who have recently developed a new Baseline Employability Skills Test which accurately, reliably and objectively assesses your learners work readiness. For more information contact 0191 605 3300.

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