Dennis Fick reports:
Jobs are few and hard to come by – especially if you are young. This is why the Education Select Committee brought together young people from across the spectrum to discuss what can be improved, in terms of careers advice for young people.
On the 7th of November, three MPs, along with 20 young people – including UK Youth Voice members Anna Piper, Marie Cope, Mohammed Rohim and Sally Beveridge – broke into three groups to discuss experiences of careers advice and ideas for the future.
Everyone started from a common agreement that it is imperative that young people are given any and all opportunities to prepare and improve themselves for the current business world.
As they say, “You can please all the people some of the time or some of the people all the time, but not both”. For that reason, the perfect careers advice course for any and all young people is as common as a chicken with teeth. With that said, it makes it even more worthwhile that MPs are striving to make sure that what’s on offer makes sense to young people.
When queried about their ‘wish list’ for careers advice and guidance, the young people gave MPs more ideas than Santa will be receiving at the end of the month from all the ‘good kids’. The main themes that came across were:
- CVs shouldn’t just be templates that are handed out by tutors to be filled in.
- Training or courses need to be updated and run on a regular basis.
- Careers advice needs to be made available in a multitude of different forms, including online and paper documents, eBooks and via online forums.
- Face-to-face training at schools or colleges should be made a permanent fixture.
With these key themes in mind, points were raised about the different needs of rural and urban communities and the ‘digital divide’ between those with and without internet access – as well as the fact that some young people found they didn’t require much careers training, while others found it invaluable.
Wait and see
In the end the group came away with a clearer understanding of MPs’ perspectives, as well as the views of young people from different backgrounds. Some worried that the consultation was a little tokenistic but time will tell if young people’s views were taken seriously.
Dennis Fick is UK Youth Voice PR & Media Officer.
Click here for more about UK Youth Voice.