Schools in the UK that offer low-quality careers advice should be downgraded in Ofsted inspections, according to a report from the Commons Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and Economy. 

Poor careers provision in schools are depriving pupils of the chance to properly consider job options, which, in turn, is harmful to the country’s economy.

MPs are being urged to incentivise improvement, with head teacher leaders claiming that more effort must be made to solve the “severe problems” currently facing the careers advice system. 

The report advises that Ofsted introduce a specific judgement on careers information advice and guidance for secondary schools specifically, as well as setting a clear criteria for making such judgements. 

"The Common Inspection Framework should be amended to make clear that a secondary school whose careers provision is judged as 'requires improvement' or 'inadequate' cannot be judged as 'outstanding' overall,” read the report. 

"Likewise a secondary school should be unable to receive an overall judgement of 'good' if its carers provision is judged to be 'inadequate'."

Instead of a number of complex organisations, service providers and websites overseeing the offering of careers advice, the sub-committee have requested that the government put a single minister in charge of this. 

Currently, the policy changes, initiatives and new bodies introduced by the government have been counterproductive, claims the report, and failed to have made serious improvements to career advice within schools. 

Chair of the Education Committee Neil Carmichael, said: “It is concerning that so many young people are being failed by the guidance they receive.

"Careers advice should be a core part of a young person's schooling - but at the moment it is little more than a poorly thought out add-on.”

It is hoped that the imminent publication of the government’s new careers strategy will offer the opportunity to finally get career provision right. 

Virtual College is one of the leading providers of e-learning in the UK. From pre-school through to adult learning, Virtual College offers online learning resources and tools that help with training at each level. For more information, please visit: http://careervooc.co.uk/