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All things being equal?: equality and diversity in Careers education, information, advice and guidanceIn its education chapter, the Commission’s first Triennial Review of evidence on inequality, How Fair is Britain? Equality, Human Rights and Good Relations in 2010, found that educational attainment has been transformed in recent years. Around half of young people are now getting good qualifications at 16 (5+ A*-C GCSEs or equivalent including English and Maths) and, in 2008/09, 2.4 million students enrolled in higher education in the UK – a considerable change from a time when educational opportunities were only available to a minority of young people. However, the evidence shows that educational attainment continues to be strongly associated with socio-economic background. Stereotypical information and guidance can limit young people’s options and aspirations at an early age. Careers advice often reinforces traditional choices and young people have limited information on the pay advantages of nontraditional routes. Nearly one in four young people say that they have not had enough information to make choices for their future. This rises to just under a quarter of disabled young people.
Career-related learning and science education: the changing landscapePupils ask STEM subject teachers about jobs and careers in science, but where else do they learn about work? This article outlines career-related learning within schools in England alongside other factors that influence pupils’ career decisions. The effect of the Education Act 2011 will be to change career learning in schools. The impact on science educators as advisers, facilitators, commissioners or managers of career-related learning is discussed, with a conclusion that, while science educators are not career educators, they nevertheless can support career-related learning in their delivery of the curriculum alongside enhancement and enrichment activities.
Partnership, capital formation and equality and diversity: learning from five case studiesCareers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) should challenge stereotypes, promote equality of opportunity and celebrate diversity (DCSF, 2008). Its delivery requires a range of people, organisations and services that bring together their services and networks to focus on individual needs. The co-ordination of these multiple agencies is referred to in this paper as partnership working. Together, these elements of firstly careers work, secondly equality and diversity, and thirdly partnership working form the substance of this paper. In the spring of 2010 the International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) with the National Institute for Social and Economic Research (NIESR) conducted fieldwork among case study projects. They were identified by the sector as representing examples of good and innovative practice that focussed on the range of equality and diversity issues in the delivery of CEIAG to young people. This was part of a project commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC, 2011). These case studies were chosen to reflect the various equality strands, covering England, Scotland and Wales and were not necessarily ‘CEIAG projects’, rather they recognise that careers work is a part of young people’s overall needs and thus CEIAG becomes part of the overall intervention strategy. Using these case studies the paper explores the idea that effective working has to be based on the creation or utilisation of aspects of local capital (Putnam, 2000; Kintrea et al, 2008); namely political, financial, organisational and social capital. The case studies all demonstrated that a range of conditional factors needed to be in place for projects to develop and thrive. The paper introduces the various well-rehearsed factors which shape effective partnership working (Hutchinson and Campbell, 1998; Connexions, 2003; Ford, 2005; LSIS, 2009) before going on to observe some of the processes that the case studies demonstrated in terms of transformational behaviours, personalisation and challenge. It concludes that the concept of capital formation with its focus on connections, reciprocity and trust helps to illuminate some of the motivators and drivers of partnership working.