Last updated: 15.09.14

Training providers ‘should impart careers advice’

Training providers should be offering young people advice on the labour market in their local areas to help them understand what employers need and expect from prospective candidates, according to the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP).

The organisation - the trade association for vocational learning and employment providers in Britain - has made a number of recommendations to the government to improve the UK’s career guidance services, especially for young people as they are unlikely to have a wealth of experience of the job market.

Many of the suggestions made by AELP have been supported by the National Careers Council (NCS) report. AELP suggests that an advisory group should be established to oversee development, but believes the panel should be made up of training providers, especially those that give young people a voice such as Youth Employment UK.

Current guidance states that schools must work in partnership with local employers, but the organisation feels pupils would benefit from speaking to training providers, who can explain directly to students what it is they can offer them.

According to AELP, training providers have strong links to the labour market, both in their local area and nationally, which means they will be fully aware of the varied requirements different sectors and industries demand from prospective employees. This means they are ideally placed to offer young people comprehensive careers advice.

A spokesperson for AELP said: “We believe that government should bring together the various careers based services such as the vacancy matching service which covers traineeship and apprenticeship vacancies as well as the DWP vacancy systems.

“Clearly there are significant improvements to be made to the NCS services, especially to young people but they do not operate in a vacuum. They must also take into account the voice of young people.”

E-learning is another way young people can access careers advice and guidance. Vocational Open Online Courses, also known as VOOCs , can offer those looking for a new career the ability to explore their options in an engaging manner. These bite-sized training modules can address skills gaps and provide the user with insights into different jobs, helping them to decide which career path to take.