Lyttle: Report highlights need to improve careers guidance for young people

Alliance DEL spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said the findings of a DEL Committee Inquiry Report show need for better careers guidance for young people in Northern Ireland.

The MLA for East Belfast proposed the Inquiry into careers education, information, advice and guidance, with the report’s findings including compulsory career classes, greater input from businesses and a statutory footing for careers advice among its recommendations.

Chris Lyttle MLA said: “Through my interaction with young people and businesses it became evident that whilst some schools are providing robust careers advice, and that some improvements have been made, careers guidance generally remains unacceptably inconsistent.

“I was glad the Committee accepted my proposal to carry out this inquiry and welcome that high numbers of young people, schools, colleges, universities and companies gave evidence.

“The report outlines clear recommendations for both the Department for Employment and Learning and the Department for Education – including the introduction of a statutory basis for careers guidance provision, an improved connection to businesses, STEM promotion, a careers website, parental training and improved qualifications and professional development opportunities for careers teachers.

“DEL Minister Stephen Farry MLA not only supported this inquiry from the outset, but plans to conduct a full review of careers provision in conjunction with the Minister for Education next year in order to action the reform needed.

“The Committee will continue to monitor this situation going forward as impartial, informed and timely careers guidance is essential for both individual and economic development in Northern Ireland.

“As we strive to build a shared future we need to ensure people develop the skills needed to succeed in a globally competitive knowledge based economy and sound careers guidance at the right time is critical to achieving this aim.”

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