All-age careers service plans deal blow to Neets agency

The future of the service responsible for measuring and reducing numbers of young people not in employment, education or training (Neet) has been thrown into doubt after ministers announced plans to establish an all-age careers service.

Speaking today at an Institute of Careers Guidance conference in Belfast, skills minister John Hayes said that young people and adults would be able to begin accessing a new all-age careers service from September 2011.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said that the plans would means the end for the Connexions service, which offers advice and guidance to 13-to 19-year-olds, with a particular focus on Neets.

In a statement, the business department said that the new service would "build on the best" of the Connexions service – which provides advice and guidance to 13- to 19-year-olds – and the Next Steps scheme, which provides careers advice to adults.

The new service will include "prioritised face-to-face guidance", the statement said.

Under the new arrangements, schools rather than local authorities will be responsible for commissioning careers advice for young people, but will be "free to decide how best to support young people to make good careers choices", according to the statement.


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