Unfair reflection of National Careers Service’s impact on young people

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To say, as TES’ report does that the National Careers Service doesn’t benefit young people’s prospects is far from the truth - “National Careers Service has 'no positive impact' on employment” (April 21 2017).

Not least, it’s misleading as it refers to a pre-2014 evaluation since when massive changes have been made to the service. If young people were not benefitting from it Ofsted would not have rated all current National Careers Service providers either Outstanding or Good.

In February, Ofsted rated our delivery of the National Careers Service in the East Midlands Outstanding. Its report made specific mention of the impact that the Careers Inspiration strand of our work has in schools. This brings pupils into contact with employers and professional advisers who inspire pupils about their future options. The activity ranges from mock job interviews to employer visits.

In its report, Ofsted said: The Careers Inspirations project is excellent at promoting the awareness of employment and training opportunities to secondary school pupils. The promotion and relevance to pupils’ future is very good.”

We have supported 865 schools in total with Careers Inspiration. The feedback we receive suggests that it really does inspire young people to work hard at school to achieve their goals to ensure they have the best chance of getting the job or careers they have set their sights on.

Neither would Ofsted have rated us Outstanding if younger job seekers who receive advice from the National Careers Service were not progressing into work or training, as TES’ article suggests. In terms of customer outcomes, it found: “ A high and improving proportion of customers enter sustained work, accredited learning or training. The rates are consistently far higher than the targets established by the Skills Funding Agency. The rate at which customers gain employment is particularly high.”

The feedback we receive from customers is consistently very positive. 98% of our East Midlands-wide National Careers Service contract would recommend our service to a friend and 92% are more confident about their job prospects.

We don’t recognize the description of the National Careers Service in TES’ article and it paints a misleading picture of what is actually happening on the ground.