What Is Careers Guidance?

Bigstock Careers green sign  Since September 2012 all schools in England have had a statutory duty to provide access to careers guidance for pupils in years 9-11, from September 2013 this has been extended for pupils in years 8 – 13.  The advice should be independent, impartial and in the best interest of the client.  As a Careers Adviser my role is to advise and guide pupils & teach them career planning skills to enable them to plan their own career.

Below is a quote from Michelle Stewart which I think explains clearly what guidance is and isn’t!

‘Information is not guidance. Information is information. Advice is not guidance. Advice is information tailored to the needs of the client. So what is guidance? Guidance is more. Guidance is enabling the client to apply the information and the advice they have to move themselves forward. Guidance is non-directive and often called ‘coaching’. Career guidance coaching requires the use of counselling skills, occupational knowledge, an understanding of the labour market and the application of theory’.  Michelle Stewart, Course Director,  Careers Education & Guidance at London South Bank University.

At Bishop Walsh careers advice & guidance is not delivered purely through one to one interviews but through a variety of different ways-

*  The school’s careers education programme that helps pupils develop their self awareness, opportunity awareness and career management skills.

* This careers website – a one-stop site for anything careers related.

* By encouraging the use of a range of careers websites eg: the National Careers Service or other more career-specific websites such as NHS Careers

* Assemblies & smaller group sessions eg: alternatives to university

Years 7 and 8 

Pupils should be starting to look at the world of work. They should also start thinking about themselves in relation to work, this means understanding what their strengths, weaknesses, skills, personal qualities, values and motivation are as this helps a young person to match themselves to careers etc.

Year 8

Pupils should be looking at how GCSE subject choices affect career choice.

Year 10

Students should be exploring  their career ideas in more depth so that by year 11 they are better prepared for making choices about what they want to do post-16.

Year 11 

Students need to be going to school & college open days, finding out about apprenticeships & school leaver programmes & making applications as early as possible.

Year 12  

Students should be doing further careers research throughout this year. If considering university they should be researching degree courses & universities & going to open days. If they aren’t sure about university they should be finding out about advanced & higher Apprenticeships, school leaver programmes & other job opportunities. Gaining some work experience is also important during this time. They could also make a start on their Personal Statement.

Year 13

 Students should be going to university open days if they haven’t already, be writing their personal statements & making their UCAS applications. If they’re not going to university they should be applying for jobs & apprenticeships from January onwards. They may also be considering taking a gap year & this takes considerable planning.