Working with young people (and their parents, but more on that later) as a Careers Adviser/Leader often means assisting them as they traverse points of transition. Be it across key stages, subject changes, institution changes or into a whole new sectors of the labour market, CEIAG practitioners are often the face of the possibilities on offer in the preparation phase of a transition. For the young person this often mean moving from a place of comfort where the rules and expectations (and short cuts) are known and familiar and into a space with new rules, new people and new codes of expected behaviour.
This is where “trust” becomes a vital factor. If the CEIAG practitioner is valued by the young person as a “trusted” source then the preparation work can aid the transition from the initial considerations, research through to choices and decision to overcome the worry of uncertainty. That is why this graphic
is so applicable to CEIAG work with young people and one that I’ve thought about following a few recent CEIAG news events.
A number of recent surveys clearly reported just how much influence parents/guardians have over the career and transition decisions of young people despite their lack of current knowledge of educational pathways and up to date labour market information.
For CEIAG practitioners working in schools, the message here is that the practitioner should be positioning themselves as a “trusted” source to both parents and young people.
That requires time and work in building relationships. At the recent Education Select Committee, Ian Mearns reiterated his belief that Careers Advisers from outside schools were best placed to ensure impartiality when offering IAG to young people as the incentives to keep learners within organisations are simply too strong. To back himself, he referred to recent Careers & Enterprise data that shows that seems to indicate that schools with Sixth Forms offer weaker Careers provision to their learners. What this model of IAG finds more challenging to achieve than in-house Advisers though is the time and presence required to build relationships and so the “trust” needed to actually impact young people and parents/guardians decision-making.
We all know the worth of the Gatsby benchmarks but one of the most significant indicators of the impact a school’s CEIAG programme is the amount of trust the parents and pupils have in their Careers Leader.