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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Labour guarantee teenagers one-to-one career advice to plot pathway to work

Ed Miliband today has set out Labour's plan to raise standards and increase opportunities for all young people - ensuring they get the dedicated advice they need for a successful transition from school and college to career.

Central to this is the reform and revitalisation of careers advice, which is currently said by the Confederation of British Industry to be on ‘life support’ after years of neglect and reductions in support under David Cameron and the Tories.


Four out of five schools are now offering inadequate careers advice, often just pointing pupils towards online information. Labour will replace this with a new system fit for the world of work in 21st century Britain.

Under Labour’s pathway to work plan:
  • All secondary school and college pupils will get guaranteed face-to-face advice from trained careers advisers, beginning at the age of 11.
  • Integrated advice will ensure teenagers learn about high quality apprenticeships and technical degrees as well as traditional academic routes into universities. Schools will be held to account for the programmes they offer.
  • Labour will reverse the Tory-led government’s decision to scrap compulsory work experience for 14 to 16-year-olds.

The new proposals, to cost approximately £50 million and to be funded and supported through a partnership between universities, schools, colleges, and employers, form a key plank of Labour’s education manifesto.

These proposals build on what Labour call their plans for a gold-standard vocational route through education and into the workplace with a Technical Baccalaureate, compulsory English and maths to 18 and an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the grades.

Labour say their 'better plan' will protect the entire education budget in real terms, including early years, schools, post-16 education and skills funding. In contrast, Labour say, the Tories have a plan for 'reckless and extreme cuts' and 'more of the same failed policies' which will put our children’s education at risk.

Labour’s plan will also:
  • restore the role of Sure Start as family hubs in communities
  • deliver smaller class sizes for five, six and seven-year-olds, paid for by ending the wasteful Free Schools programme.
  • tackle underachievement with new Directors of School Standards to support local schools
  • ensure all teachers become qualified and introduce new Master Teachers who are subject experts and specialists in classroom discipline
  • build a gold-standard vocational route through education and into the workplace with a Technical Baccalaureate, compulsory English and maths to 18
  • guarantee an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the grades.

Announcing their plan, the Labour Leader, Ed Miliband said: "The biggest challenge Britain faces is preparing our young people today for the economy of tomorrow. Labour believes a world-class education is not a luxury, but a necessity. Young people must be equipped with the right skills, the right knowledge and the right advice they need to succeed. Failure to do this will not only cheat our young people of a decent future, it will cheat our country too."

Mr Miliband continued: "But that is what the Tories offer; a recipe for national decline. A backward-looking, narrow and centralising plan obsessed with structures. Labour has a better plan; equipping all our children with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed with excellence from the first steps a child takes to the day they prepare to stride into the adult world; a broad curriculum offering the best in both vocational and academic skills; a focus on the highest standards in every classroom​; a pathway into work."