Focus on adult jobs is being prioritised over children

Advisers voice concern over career service cuts

Advisers voice concern over career service cuts

By Alex Stevenson

Government advisers have spoken out against cuts to careers service funding for schoolchildren.

Around £200 million of funding for face-to-face career interviews is not being replaced as the new National Careers Service Advisory Group shifts its focus to adults only.

Instead schools will have to fund careers interviews out of their existing resources. Only telephone and web-based services will continue to fall within the group's remit.

"There are widespread concerns about the destruction of careers services across the country, with heavy staff redundancies," the group said in a press release.

"At a time when young people are facing massive changes in further and higher education, and new apprenticeships – as well as high youth unemployment – stripping out the professional help available to them is not only foolhardy: it is potentially damaging to young people's lives and ultimately to the economy."

The group decided to continue in its new form rather than resign en masse, having previously been the Advisory Group on the All-Age Careers Service, because it said it respected the government's decision to maintain funding for adults.

But it said it wants its "deep concerns about the services for young people to be publicly known".

Shadow education secretary Andy Burnham said the decisions to scrap the educational maintenance allowance and triple tuition fees meant young people needed careers advice even more than ever.

"Ministers are hopelessly out of touch and are allowing careers services for young people to be destroyed," he said.

"This government is risking a lost generation of young people – it's time they listened to their own advisers and stopped the meltdown of careers services."