Focus on National Careers Week

National Careers Week (NCW) is a celebration of careers guidance and free resources in education across the UK. By historic standards, unemployment levels for young people are low but many employers claim that they struggle to recruit young, work-ready staff as young people are ill prepared with the basic skills needed for employment. Unemployment while young is linked to long-term reductions in wages, increased chances of subsequent periods of unemployment, and poorer health outcomes. We really need robust careers guidance to be promoted and celebrated in education.

Organisations that are seen to respond to the challenge of unemployment will gain a competitive edge as consumers exercise choices in favour of companies with positive social values who demonstrate a good record of corporate social responsibility. Young people offer creativity, innovation, flexibility, high energy and an understanding of new and emerging technologies and there is evidence that recruiting and investing in young people encourages loyalty and reduces attrition.

Running from the 4th to the 9th of March 2019 National Careers Week is targeted at improving the level of careers education in schools and colleges, with evidence showing at government level that this is an area that needs improvement in order to ensure that future generations will benefit from quality, meaningful interactions that will help them to understand the links between courses, skills and the pathways they open up. The aim is to provide a focus for careers guidance activity at an important stage in the academic calendar to help support young people leaving education.

Guidance and Inspiration

The NCW site at https://nationalcareersweek.com is a mine of information about careers guidance, apprenticeships and information about professional and vocational training options with a view to helping create the time and provide the opportunity for organisations to engage and inspire potential recruits. Often people find information about careers dry and serious but this initiative is aimed at improving career readiness. There are lots of opportunities for organisations to contribute and engage and to promote best practice.

Careers advice is not only for young people, of course, lots of older workers want to change direction and many are choosing to take up apprenticeships as a training route.  There’s a lot of career advice available from a variety of sources online but it can be hard to find exactly what you need and real information about career management. No matter what stage of your career journey you are at, it’s never too early or too late to start planning!

Local libraries and colleges offer good resources as do professional associations and skills councils with advice about careers, sourcing vacancies and networking. The National Careers Service website has a lot of links and suggestions and take a look at the NCW site as there is an amazing range of opportunities highlighted including careers in racing and careers at sea.

Another source of careers advice is friends, family and colleagues. The benefit of getting advice from people who know you personally are that they can tailor their information to your situation. For example, your personal circumstances might mean that certain career choices are off limits for you so, advice from those who know you well and who are knowledgeable in the field can really give your career a boost. The best idea is to get as many different opinions as possible when making a career changing decision. The more information you have about possibilities open to you, the more empowered you will feel.

Posted: Thursday 7 March 2019


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