A new ADR-UK Data Insight report by WISERD Co-Director, Rhys Davis, reveals the important role played by Careers Wales in supporting those children most in need of careers guidance within Welsh Schools.
Following the withdrawal of funding for the Connexions Network in 2010 – a dedicated careers guidance service for young people – concerns have been expressed in England that the provision of career services is insufficient to address the needs of young people.
In a recent study of 13,000 Year 11 students in England, less than two thirds of Year 11 pupils were found to have received careers advice. The research also found that the support was not reaching those in most need, including those with lower levels of social capital.
In contrast, within Wales, the provision of careers education in schools is supported by Careers Wales, a publicly funded national careers information, advice and guidance service. Since its establishment in 2012, Careers Wales has been tasked with reducing the number of young people who are outside education, training or employment and prioritising its support to those who are most at risk of becoming disengaged or who are not in education, employment, or training.
Careers Wales has incurred significant reductions in its core budget over the last decade. Within that challenging climate, the analysis demonstrates how Careers Wales has targeted its services to those children who are in most need of support. Where students are faced with an increasingly complex range of choices following school, such services are vital for supporting their progression towards the world of work.
The research reveals that almost two-thirds of Welsh pupils receive support from Careers Wales during Year 11, increasing to 85% in Year 12. The analysis confirms that Careers Wales is fulfilling its remit of supporting those pupils with the greatest needs, including those who are eligible for free school meals, have lower levels of academic attainment and have higher levels of absenteeism.