Press Release

Better Careers Education Needed For Our Young People, Says Committee

Session: 2013/2014

Date: Monday, 25 November 2013

Reference: E&L 04/13/14

Compulsory career classes, greater input from business and a statutory footing for careers advice are among the recommendations contained in a report published by the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Employment and Learning today. The Committee's report on its Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance in Northern Ireland made a series of wide-ranging recommendations for the future of careers education in Northern Ireland.

Chairperson of the Committee, Robin Swann MLA, said: "The right careers advice at the right time can make a profound difference to a young person's life. However, it is clear to the Committee that, although some teachers, schools and colleges are providing excellent careers advice, this does not seem to be consistent across Northern Ireland. A particular concern is that while, on the one hand, many young people leaving education are struggling to find jobs, on the other hand, industry is telling us that it urgently needs skilled workers.

"The Committee has today outlined some robust recommendations for the Department for Employment and Learning and the Department of Education. We want to ensure that: there is a statutory basis for careers education provision; that business has a strong input to that provision; that Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects are being effectively promoted; and that there is extra support for those facing barriers to employment.

Mr Swann concluded: "Our young people deserve quality careers advice from qualified careers teachers who can inspire them and offer them a full range of options tailored to their individual strengths and circumstances. That advice should be readily available, clear, up to date and responsive to the changes in the world around us. It has been made clear to the Committee in the evidence taken that, as well as playing a major role in helping our young people to fulfil their potential, careers advice and education are vital to the economic future of Northern Ireland. Careers education will therefore remain a priority for the Committee in the time ahead."

ENDS


Notes to Editors:

The full Committee report can be found here

Watch Committee Chairperson, Robin Swann, outline the main findings in the report:

Committee membership:
Mr Robin Swann (Chairperson)
Mr Thomas Buchanan (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Sammy Douglas
Mr David Hilditch
Mr Chris Lyttle
Mr Phil Flanagan
Mr Fra McCann
Mr David McClarty
Ms Bronwyn McGahan
Mr Pat Ramsey
Mr Alastair Ross

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