New strategy for Careers Education and Guidance launched

Date published: 01 March 2016

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Farry and Education Minister John O’Dowd today launched ‘Preparing for Success 2015-2020 – A Strategy for Careers Education and Guidance’.

‘Preparing for Success 2015-2020’ sets out the Department for Employment and Learning and the Department of Education’s strategic vision for Careers Education and Guidance for the next five years.

Minister Farry said:

“This strategy provides the future direction of Careers Education and Guidance for the next five years and sets out the vision, aims, policy commitments and key actions to ensure delivery.

“Through the implementation of the Careers Strategy and associated action plan, young people and adults will get the help they need to make informed careers choices enabling them to fulfil their potential. The careers system will raise awareness of the skills and qualifications most valued by employers, helping to address skills gaps and support economic growth.

“My Department will be taking forward a series of projects over the next year, including the introduction of a statutory duty to ensure the provision of impartial careers guidance and the development of a quality assurance and accountability framework for the careers system. By this time next year, these measures will: enhance the existing provision, making best use of technology; provide more support for parents and for those with additional needs and disabilities; and provide employers and young people with a more streamlined method of organising and accessing work experience opportunities.

“The careers system will continue to support all individuals, irrespective of age or ability, from young people in school, those wishing to join the labour market, those in employment needing advice on upskilling or reskilling and those facing redundancy or unemployment.”

Education Minister John O’Dowd said:

“The quality of careers education in schools has improved significantly in recent years, but there is always room for improvement, and I am confident that through the implementation of the Careers Strategy we can further enhance and improve our careers system, and ultimately the life chances of our young people.

“Our priority is to open pathways and possibilities for young people, no matter what their ability, and support them as they work through a period in their lives when they are discovering who they are and what they want to do.

“Careers education in schools is about equipping young people to manage their own careers in a fast changing world; helping them become good careers decision-makers, to gain an understanding of the world of work, to provide them with the skills to secure employment and become successful employees and employers.”

The Preparing for Success 2015-2020 Strategy and the Action plan for 2015-2017 can be accessed on the DEL website.


Notes to editors: 

1. The Strategy contains five policy commitments:

  • Accountability and Quality Assurance - The careers system will have an accountability and quality assurance framework to ensure delivery of high quality careers services and improve transparency. This includes the introduction of a statutory duty to ensure the provision of impartial careers guidance
  • E-Delivery and Labour Market Information - Access to careers services will be improved through the use of new and innovative delivery channels, including online web chat and social media to allow clients to access services at a time and place that meets their needs, improving customer satisfaction and cost efficiency. This will include on line robust user friendly and up to date labour market information.
  • Work Experience.  Work experience for young people, schools and employers will be improved to ensure equality of opportunity and improve the administrative process of organising work experience opportunities.
  • Accessing Impartial Advice - Access to impartial advice will be maintained and improved, including offering face to face impartial advice to young people at key transition stages, providing additional support to those at risk of becoming disengaged and those with barriers; and providing more advice to parents.
  • E-Portfolio/Personal Learning Record - Young people should have access to an e-portfolio to record activities undertaken to improve their employability including work experience, voluntary and part-time work, careers learning, sporting achievements, and other relevant extra-curricular activities alongside educational qualifications.

2. All media queries to the Department for Employment and Learning Press Office on 028 9025 7466. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

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