Plan to save Connexions advice jobs

Council leader Coun Julie Dore
Council leader Coun Julie Dore
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MORE than a dozen careers advisors working for the Connexions service in Sheffield could see their jobs saved.

Under changes introduced by the Government, schools now commission careers advice for pupils, whereas it used to be provided independently by Connexions, which is part of the Sheffield Futures youth service.

Sheffield Council is now encouraging the city’s secondary schools to hire Connexions to carry on giving a careers service rather than use other providers.

Council leader, Coun Julie Dore, said: “If schools buy in the careers advice service from Sheffield Futures, it will help preserve the current careers advisors’ jobs and also provide Sheffield Futures with income to offset the £300,000 of cuts it is having to make, so will be a win-win situation.”

The numbers of careers advisors employed by Sheffield Futures is in double figures, with staff working in each secondary school and on specialists teams for disabled children and those not in employment, education or training.

“We believe Connexions careers advisors employed by Sheffield Futures are best-placed to provide careers advice for young people and are encouraging schools to continue using their service,” Coun Dore said.

She criticised the Government for planning to create a free market in the careers service - which has also been attacked in a report compiled by Derby University for having a ‘potentially disastrous impact’ on the careers advice profession.

Coun Dore said: “This is not a responsible approach to dealing with the futures of young people.”

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “We make no apologies for giving schools responsibility for careers advice.

“They know their students best - so it’s right they should decide what provision is right and that they have complete control over their budgets.”