Does the government provide poor careers support because civil servants have jobs for life and politicians have no work experience?
When I started my career change it was early 2012. At that time the government careers service was NextStep. That was changed to the National Careers Service. So I created an account on there in April 2012 and used that instead.
Over time it became an excellent resource for hundreds of different jobs. It had all sorts of facilities for self assessment. I made a lot of use of it. It came with a Lifelong Learning Account. It allowed one to:
- update and store your CV, skills health check, action plans, and course searches to help you as you progress through your learning and working life
- access your qualification details from your Personal Learning Record and track what financial contributions have been made towards your learning
- manage the information you have gathered to help you make the right choices
- build a personal profile and receive information more tailored to your needs and situation
I made full use of the Skills Health Check Tools and Action Plans and uploaded CVs.
But it has all changed, presumably to fit into the gov.uk web sitre structure, which does not suit it at all. There used to be loads of job market analysis for the roles but that has gone.
It now seems no more useful than the useless ‘careers advice’ we got at school: “What do you want to do? Oh, we don’t have that on the list. How about train driver, policeman, typist or nurse? We have those.” And the information and advice they provide on searching for jobs and filling in forms could be put on a couple of sides of A4.
So it seems the Lifelong Learning Account and National Careers Service have survived for less time than it has been taking me to change career. I started my research before it opened, have done an undergrad degree and not yet completed my postgrad degree and the Account and Service have gone.
What a shame. And waste of taxpayers’ money them constructing it all in the first place for it to be switched off again before people have finished with it.
Fortunately, the Lancaster University Careers Service is superb and has provided me with huge amounts of advice, information and support so I’m OK. But that does not help the millions of people out there who must be coping with leaving education, being laid off, wanting career change or just being unemployed and wanting to explore their options.