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Careers england literature review final paper 140510

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Careers and social mobility literature review paper written by Dr Deirdre Hughes, Director, DMH Associates, England

Careers and social mobility literature review paper written by Dr Deirdre Hughes, Director, DMH Associates, England

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  • 1. A Literature Review: Social Mobility and Careers Service Policies Written by Dr Deirdre Hughes On behalf of Careers England6th May 2010 1
  • 2. A Literature Review: Social Mobility and Careers Service Policies1.0 Introduction Purpose and rationale1.1 The purpose of this interim discussion paper is to present the Careers England Quality TASK GROUP with an overview of findings related to social mobility and careers service policies from the three main political parties. The findings are based upon robust evidence stemming from close scrutiny and assessment of the main political parties’ 2010 Manifestos, their other allied policy documents and additional information from relevant UK and European organisations.1.2 Careers England has requested a specific focus upon social mobility issues in relation to both young people and adults, in particular within the context of lifelong learning and an ageing population. However, it is recognised that a comprehensive social mobility strategy will inevitably also include government policies and interventions that start from an early age. All three main political parties agree that a positive start in life, good parenting, a strong school system and meaningful work opportunities are essential for happiness and prosperity in later life. Methodology of the review1.3 The literature review was undertaken between March and April 2010. This involved an in-depth analysis of the main political parties’ manifestos using a series of searches for terms linked to social mobility and careers-related policies; these included: ‘social mobility’, ‘social inclusion’, ‘social exclusion’, ‘career(s)’, ‘careers advice’, ‘careers guidance’, ‘careers education’, ‘information’ and ‘lifelong learning’. Further details on the stance of the three parties in relation to social mobility and careers-related services were gleaned from relevant government reports and various policy statements and papers. Additional information and evidence has been provided from complementary sources such as the Inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning (IFLL), the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Structure of report1.4 Following this introduction, findings from the literature review below are presented in Section 2 together with relevant citations. The key emerging themes and the conclusions that provide a bridge to the final report for Careers England are presented in Section 3. The detailed results from the analysis of the three main political parties’ manifestos are presented in Appendices 1 to 3.6th May 2010 2
  • 3. 2.0 Findings from the review Definition of social mobility and its importance2.1 The term ‘social mobility’ is often used to describe the opportunity for an individual’s transition in terms of personal well-being and/or employment and financial security. This makes clear that social mobility can result in disadvantages as well as advantages for the individual. Hutton (2008)1 describes social mobility as the opportunity to individuals to ‘live a life that someone would have reason to value’. Literature identifies ‘multiple purposes that individuals pursue through work covering: use of talents/skills, recognition and achievement; monetary compensation; interpersonal relationships and social/moral purpose’ (UKCES 2010)2.2.2 As well as being important to the individual, social mobility is also important for society and the economy as a whole, helping to build a more prosperous and more cohesive Britain. For example, it is possible to calculate the enormous savings to the public purse of just a modest reduction in young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), in terms of the costs associated with educational underachievement, unemployment, inactivity, crime and health3.2.3 Work by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), on behalf of the Sutton Trust 4, has led to estimates that improving levels of social mobility for future generations in the UK would contribute between £56 billion and £140 billion to the value of the economy each year by 2050 in today’s prices - or up to an additional 4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over and above any other growth. These calculations are based on an established methodology from the USA and they give a very striking picture of how much current levels of social mobility could be costing the UK in financial terms.2.4 More recently the role of social class and social mobility has moved to the forefront of public debate on equality and diversity issues. For example, the chair of the EHRC, Trevor Phillips, spelt out ‘a new assault’ against inequality by stating:1Hutton, W. (2008) Barnardos Lecture: Social Mobility October 2008 Accessed 06.05.2010:http://www.barnardos.org.uk/will_hutton_lecture_summary-2.pdf2UKCES (2010) Skills for Jobs Today and Tomorrow. London: UK Commission for Employment and Skills, Vol. 2p. 107. Accessed on 05.05.10: http://www.ukces.org.uk/upload/pdf/UKCES_NSSA_Report_23.3.10_1.pdf3 Godfrey, C., Hutton, S., Bradshaw, J., Coles, B., Craig, G. and Johnson, J. (2002). Estimating the Costs of Being ‘Notin Education, Employment or Training’ at Age 16-18. RR 236. London: Department for Education and Skills.4 The Sutton Trust (2010). The Mobility Manifesto: A report on cost effective ways to achieve greater social mobilitythrough education, based on work by the Boston Consulting Group. Accessed 21.04.2010:http://www.suttontrust.com/reports/20100312_mobility_manifesto.pdf6th May 2010 3
  • 4. ‘We are not just limiting our description (of inequality) by gender or race but we are also looking at this extremely important issue of class.’5 The overall approach of the three main UK political parties to social mobility2.5 Given its importance, it is not surprising that policies designed to enhance social mobility are central to the goals of the three main UK political parties. However, the terminology used by them to describe these policies varies. For example, the term ‘social mobility’ does not feature at all in the Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010 but this is not to say that they do not have strategies for enhancing opportunities for individuals and removing inequalities; instead of ‘social mobility’ they prefer to talk about ‘fairness’ as in giving ‘every child, no matter their background, a fair start in life’6. In the Conservative Manifesto 2010 ‘social mobility’ is mentioned twice with the language focused more on strategies for ‘tackling poverty and inequality’ and of transforming ‘life chances’7. In the Labour Party 2010 Manifesto the term ‘social mobility’ is used at least five times8. Similarly, the term ‘lifelong learning’ does not feature in any of the Manifestos, though of course all three parties are committed to maintaining educational opportunities for individuals throughout life.2.6 Whatever the precise terminology used, all three main political parties view the following broad areas as most relevant to enhancing opportunities for individuals and to removing inequalities, and hence contributing to social mobility:  Strong families, good parenting and a secure start in life;  Good schools and the raising of educational standards;  Extra support for individuals when required, especially for those who are disadvantaged;  Relevant vocational education and access to lifelong learning;  A strong and bouyant economy providing opportunities for employment, training and progression.5 Interview with Trevor Phillips BBC Radio 4. Accessed 16.04.10:http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/prepare_for_class_war.html6Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010, Foreword. Accessed 28.03.10:http://network.libdems.org.uk/manifesto2010/libdem_manifesto_2010.pdf7 Conservative Manifesto 2010, p.15, p.53. Accessed 28.03.10:http://media.conservatives.s3.amazonaws.com/manifesto/cpmanifesto2010_lowres.pdf8The Labour Party Manifesto 2010. Accessed 29.03.10:http://www2.labour.org.uk/uploads/TheLabourPartyManifesto-2010.pdf6th May 2010 4
  • 5. As the following extracts from the 2010 election Manifestos make clear, all three main political parties view education, training and employment policies as the key mechanisms for achieving fairness, prosperity and enhancing social mobility.2.7 All three main political parties view education policy as providing a particularly strong and significant contribution to social mobility. For example:  ‘Improving our schools system is the most important thing we can do to make opportunity more equal and address our declining social mobility.’ (Conservative Manifesto 2010, p.51)  ‘Education is the key to personal fulfillment, economic prosperity and social mobility. Our goal is educational excellence for every child, whatever their background or circumstances.’ (Labour Party Manifesto 2010, p. 3:2)  ‘Liberal Democrats want every child to receive an excellent education, to unlock children’s potential and to ensure that they can succeed in life. Too many children are still leaving school without the knowledge and skills to be successful. And your family background still has a huge effect: a typical child from a poor family will fall behind a richer classmate by the age of seven and never catch up.’ (Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010, p.33) The Conservatives place a particular focus upon the importance of the Further Education (FE) sector as a key mechanism of social mobility by extending skills opportunities to all sections of society. In ‘Labour’s Failure on Skills’9 the Conservatives claim that there has been less adult education under Labour and they outline a new role for FE in which: ‘Colleges and training providers will be given the freedom to deliver the courses that best suit the needs of their communities and provide the most flexible and accessible form of local learning for people.’(p.9)9 Labour’s Failure on Skills. Accessed 25.04.10:http://www.conservatives.com/SearchResults.aspx?cx=003491542875545404075%3Ae6gksbreqpy&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=UTF-8&q=labours%20failure%20on%20skills&sa=Search6th May 2010 5
  • 6. 2.8 The three main political parties’ focus on employment policy is interesting. Whilst all propose measures to deal with youth unemployment, the Labour Party and the Conservatives also place a particularly clear focus upon adult unemployment and upon easing individuals from ‘a life on benefits’. For example:  ‘We will reduce youth unemployment and reduce the number of children in workless households as part of our strategy for tackling poverty and inequality’ and ‘Unemployed people must be prepared to take up job offers. So, with the Conservatives, long-term benefit claimants who fail to find work will be required to ‘work for the dole’ on community work programmes.’ (Conservative Manifesto 2010, p.15 and p.16)  ‘200,000 jobs through the Future Jobs Fund, with a job or training place for young people who are out of work for six months, but benefits cut at ten months if they refuse a place; and anyone unemployed for more than two years guaranteed work, but no option of life on benefits.’ (Labour Party Manifesto 2010, p. 2:2)  ‘A work placement scheme with up to 800,000 places will ensure that young people have the opportunity to gain skills, qualifications and work experience even if they can’t find a job. Young people on the scheme would be paid £55 a week for up to three months.’ (Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010, p.24) Social mobility policies and older people2.9 An ageing population and the continuing equality and human rights agenda focuses upon the contribution that older people can make to the economy, and to society as a whole. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has a section of its website dedicated to ‘Age Equality’ and it has published important reports on issues of age inequality and the contribution of older workers10. The Independent Inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning (IFLL)11, sponsored by the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) in 2009, gathered evidence from a wide range of experts, and learners, and identified a broad consensus for the future for lifelong learning in the UK. The findings set out a clear vision on the role and added-value contribution of older learners to the UK economy.10EHRC website. Accessed 02.04.10:http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/our-job/what-we-do/our-business-plan/age-equality/11 IFLL website. Accessed 04.04.10: www.lifelonglearninginquiry.org.uk.6th May 2010 6
  • 7. 2.10 The EHRC, together with Age Concern and Help the Aged, joined forces in 2009 to explore inequality throughout people’s lives and how it may lead to disadvantage in later life. Their final report12 identified key life course factors that impact on health, income, and employment. It found, amongst other things, that education is one of the strongest and most consistent influences on outcomes in later life. It also found evidence that ‘forced early retirement’ is linked to poor health for the rest of life. The EHRC policy briefing ‘Working Better - The over 50s, the new work generation13,’ includes findings of a survey on the work aspirations of the over 50s, and the barriers they face. It reveals that many assumptions made about this age group are wrong: that the majority of workers over 50 want to continue working beyond state pension age with the option of flexible working, and that a significant proportion of them want promotion and/or continue to have a passion for learning.2.11 The IFLL published its main report, ‘Learning Through Life’, in September 200914. The report puts forward the case for a radical review of the way we think about the educational life course, the distribution of opportunity and use of resources across different ages. The debate comes at a time when the participation by older people in adult education has dropped markedly, as the Labour Government focuses upon skills and qualifications predominantly taken up by young people. Prof Tom Schuller, Director of the Inquiry argues that this: ‘<.runs directly against what we should be doing, with an ageing population and with the need for more people to maintain their working skills well into their 60s, as the need for longer working lives takes effect. Moreover we have excellent evidence on the beneficial effects for older people of participation in different forms of adult learning.’1512EHRC, Age Concern, & Help the Aged (2009). Just Ageing? Fairness,equality and the life course - Final report,December 2009. Accessed 04.04.10:http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/uploaded_files/just_ageing_final_report.pdf13Maitland, A. (2010). Working Better: The over 50s, the new work generation. EHRC. Accessed 05.04.10:http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/uploaded_files/publications/workingbetter_over_50s.pdf Schuller, T & Watson, D. (2009) Learning Through Life: Inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning (IFLL).14Leicester: NIACE. Accessed 06.04.10:http://shop.niace.org.uk/ifll-learningthroughlife.html15News briefing from the IFLL website. Accessed 06.04.10:http://www.niace.org.uk/lifelonglearninginquiry/news.htm#Independent6th May 2010 7
  • 8. One of the Inquiry’s papers ‘Age Discrimination and Education16’ describes the Equality Bill (2009)17 as having major potential implications in respect of age requiring public authorities to take positive action to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations within the context of an ageing population. The Equality Act (2010) received Royal Assent on 8th April 201018.2.12 All three main political parties have Manifesto commitments about the rights of older people to carry on working and making a contribution to the economy. For example:  ‘We will look at how to abolish the default retirement age, as many older people want to carry on working.’ (Conservative Manifesto 2010, p.16)  ‘The right to request flexible working for older workers, with an end to default retirement at 65, enabling more people to decide for themselves how long they choose to keep working.’ (Labour Party Manifesto 2010, p.6:2)  ‘Scrap compulsory retirement ages, allowing those who wish to continue in work to do so.’ (Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010, p.52) The Labour Party Manifesto 2010 also explicitly recognises the wider contribution older people can and do make to society as a whole: ‘Many charities, voluntary organisations and schools value and rely on the contribution of older people and we support the growing number of excellent initiatives creating greater understanding across the generations. We will continue to support older people in getting involved in their community by providing matched funding for community projects.’ (p.6:4) Where do careers information, advice and guidance policies feature in the three main parties’ social mobility strategies?2.13 Whilst it is clear that general education, training and employment policies form the core of social mobility strategies, each of the three main parties also proposes specific16Mountfield, H. (2009). Age Discrimination and Education: A Legal Briefing Paper. Leicester: NIACE. Accessed07.04.10:http://www.niace.org.uk/lifelonglearninginquiry/docs/age-discrimination-and-education.pdf17 The Equality Bill was introduced by Harriet Harman on 27/0409 Accessed 050510:http://www.cii.co.uk/downloaddata/Equality_Bill_2009.pdf18 The Equality Act (2010) Accessed on 050510:http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2010/pdf/ukpga_20100015_en.pdf6th May 2010 8
  • 9. careers education and guidance-related measures in support of enhancing opportunities for individuals and removing inequalities.2.14 The Labour Party’s careers education and guidance-related policies are clearly spelt out in recent legislation and its implementation, but also in a variety of policy documents. These include ‚Quality, Choice and Aspiration: A strategy for young people’s information, advice and guidance‛19, the Government response to the Milburn report20, ‚Fuelling Potential: A blueprint for skills accounts and the adult advancement and careers service‛21, and the Labour Party Manifesto 2010. The Conservative stance in relation to careers education and guidance-related policies is clearly spelt out in their Policy Green Paper No. 7, ‚Building Skills, Transforming Lives - A Training And Apprenticeships Revolution‛22, and in their 2010 Manifesto.2.15 However, the Liberal Democrat position is less clear. For example, in their 2010 Manifesto there is no specific reference to careers education, information, advice and guidance. This contrasts with a commitment made in January 2009, in their Policy Paper No.89, ‚Equity and Excellence: Policies for 15-19 Education in England Schools and Colleges‛. In this paper the Liberal Democrats made a specific commitment to require ‘Local Authorities to run a truly independent career and course advisory service for young people’ (p.6)23.2.16 Each of the three main political parties’ stance in relation to careers information, advice and guidance-related policy are summarised in the following sections.19DCSF (2009). Quality, Choice and Aspiration: A strategy for young people’s information, advice and guidance. London:Department for Children Schools and Families. Accessed 15.04.2010:http://publications.dcsf.gov.uk/eOrderingDownload/IAG-Report-v2.pdf20DBIS (2010). Unleashing Aspiration: The Government Response to the Final Report of the Panel on Fair Access to theProfessions. London: Department for Business Industry and Skills. Accessed 11.04.10:http://interactive.bis.gov.uk/unleashingaspiration/wp-content/uploads/Unleashing-Aspiration.pdf DBIS (2010). Fuelling Potential: A blueprint for skills accounts and the adult advancement and careers service. London:21DBIS. Accessed 18.04.10: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/corporate/docs/f/10-648-fuelling-potential.pdf ConservativeParty (2008). Building Skills, Transforming Lives - A Training And Apprenticeships Revolution. Policy22Green Paper No. 7. Accessed 20.04.10: http://www.conservatives.com/Policy/Opportunity_Agenda.aspx23 Liberal Democrat Party (2009). Equity and Excellence: Policies for 15-19 Education in England Schools and Colleges.Policy Paper No.89. Accessed 20.04.10:http://www.libdems.org.uk/siteFiles/resources/PDF/Liberal%20Democrat%20Education%20Policies%20Equity_and_Excellence.pdf#search="career service policy"6th May 2010 9
  • 10. The Conservative Party: careers information, advice and guidance-related policy2.17 The Conservative Party is committed to the creation of an all-age careers service that would replace the careers advice offered to young people by Connexions, currently run by local authorities, nextstep and the national Careers Advice Service for adults. They are also committed to placing a trained careers adviser in every secondary school and college. Both of these commitments are made on the Conservative website and in their Policy Green Paper No. 724, whilst the creation of an all-age careers service is a commitment made in their 2010 Manifesto25 together with the establishing of a Community Learning Fund to help people restart their careers. One more relevant commitment, made in the Green Paper, is to the injection of £775 million of support for apprentices of all ages, to be delivered through new Lifelong Learning Accounts.2.18 David Willets, the Shadow Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills, has stated: ‘The careers service has collapsed under Labour < and it helps explain the problems we’ve got with social mobility in this country. There is a massive information and advice problem here and it’s actually getting worse.’262.19 The Conservatives’ core message is what they call ‘a training and apprenticeships revolution’, a part of which is a ‘revolution in careers advice’. ‘A revolution in careers advice:  We will redirect funds currently used on administration and inadequate careers advice, providing £180 million to fund a careers adviser in every secondary school and college in the country. We will also spend £100 million to create a new all-age careers advice service which will provide a community-based source of advice and guidance for people of all ages.  As well as face-to-face guidance, we will invest £5 million in a new web- based skills matching service, revolutionising people’s ability to access information on jobs, training and apprenticeships.’ (Policy Green Paper No. 7, p.8)2724 Op. cit.25 Op. cit.26Interview quoted on the internet. Accessed 21.04.10:http://www.byrnetofferings.co.uk/2010/02/david-willets-career-services/27 Op. cit.6th May 2010 10
  • 11. 2.20 The relationship between the proposal to fund a careers adviser in every school and college, and the proposal to create a new all-age careers advice service, is not clearly spelt out in the Green Paper. As Watts points out28, this could mean that the Conservatives are proposing to locate within schools and colleges what would have been in the past an externally based careers adviser, with the adviser working either as part of, or separate from, the new all-age service. Alternatively, it could mean that the careers advisers within schools and colleges should work in partnership with the new all-age service with a role closer to that traditionally carried out by careers teachers and careers co-ordinators within schools and colleges.2.21 The Conservatives also point to a need to provide more information and guidance online, and they highlight that in their opinion no single source exists in the UK for such information: ‘There is also huge potential to provide more information and guidance online. For example, in the United States, the Bureau of Labour Statistics produces an annual Occupational Outlook Handbook, accessible online, providing information on the nature of each occupation, the necessary training and qualifications, the current number employed in the occupation, the employment outlook and average earnings data. No single source exists in the UK for such information.’ (Policy Green Paper No. 7, p.26)292.22 Continuing with this argument for better online information, at the start of their 2010 election campaign the Conservative party strongly backed the recently launched website ‘bestcourse4me’30. This website brings together in one place data on employment, careers and salaries to help students to make the right choice of university and subject for them. Speaking at a Times Higher Education debate soon after the launch of the new website, David Willetts said that if the Tories triumphed in the election he would push for the publication of all data potentially of interest to students, such as that collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency and the UK Labour Force Survey. He argued that making information more accessible enables consumers to question the services they receive. For example, he quoted the28Watts, A.G. (2008) Careers England Policy Commentary 11: Conservative Party Policy Statement on Skills (includingkey references to career guidance provision). Careers England. Accessed 23.04.10:http://www.careersengland.org.uk/Documents/From%20Old%20Site/204_Policy%20Commentary%2011/Policy%20Commentary%2011.pdf29 Op. cit.30 http://www.bestcourse4me.com/6th May 2010 11
  • 12. publication of mortality rates in the National Health Service, as opening up a debate on medical standards31. The Labour Party careers education and guidance-related policy2.23 The Labour Government under Gordon Brown continued to be committed to separate but enhanced provision for young people and for adults. Its policy was that in August 2010, the Adult Advancement and Careers Service (AACS) would be launched in England. It would supersede the current Careers Advice Service telephone service (formerly learndirect advice) and local nextstep face to face services, by creating a single, national service available online, by telephone, or face to face. The Labour Government’s ‘Fuelling Potential: A blueprint for skills accounts and the adult advancement and careers service’ (2010), set out the vision and core principles of the service and how it would be implemented. These make clear it would be a single branded service with the three channels of the adult advancement and careers service (online, telephone, face-to-face) working together. It is also made clear that provision would be demand-led and would seek to empower customers to help themselves. The balance between ‘universal’ and ‘targeted’ provision was spelt out with the new service available to all adults in England but with ‘national priority groups’ identified for more intensive support. Not surprisingly, a particular emphasis was placed upon the importance of the latest technology, not just in making the service widely accessible to customers but also in providing a technology infrastructure to support the work of advisers in maintaining and tracking the relationship with customers.2.24 For young people, Connexions services have been located within local authorities within the context of Integrated Youth Support Services (IYSS). ‚Quality, Choice and Aspiration: A strategy for young people’s information, advice and guidance‛ committed the Government to ‘modernise IAG and careers education to make it accessible for today’s generation of young people and to keep pace with a rapidly changing economy’ (p.5)32. The strategy included:  a review of the quality and effectiveness of local authorities’ delivery of IAG within two years;31Quoted in a Times Higher Education article, 25 February 2010. Accessed 23.04.10:http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=41057632 Op. cit.6th May 2010 12
  • 13.  a commitment to a range of measures to increase mentoring and work experience opportunities; and  the launch of a campaign to take forward the aims of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions. Although the Labour Government agreed to take steps to take forward the aims of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions, it did not fully accept all of its recommendations. In particular:  ‘Recommendation 22: Schools and colleges should have direct responsibility for providing information, advice and guidance, with a professional careers service located in every school and college – starting from primary age.’ This recommendation was accepted in part only, with the Labour Government agreeing that careers-related activities should start ‘at an early age’, whilst reiterating their commitment to Local Authorities providing a crucial leadership role for Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) and expecting them simply ‘to ensure that learning providers are closely involved when IAG services are commissioned and designed.’  ‘Recommendation 23: The Government should remove careers responsibility from the Connexions service. It should reallocate an estimated £200 million to schools and colleges in order to give them the freedom to tender for careers services from a range of providers.’ This recommendation was rejected. Although the Labour Government acknowledged that IAG delivered through Connexions varies quite considerably, it emphasised local authority leadership of delivery and reiterated its commitment to a review of the quality and effectiveness of IAG in 2011. However, the Labour Government did concede that if improvements were not made, it would act on the Panel’s recommendation that budgets for careers education should be devolved from local authorities to schools and other front line providers. (p.21)33 The Liberal Democrats: careers information, advice and guidance-related policy2.25 The general policy stance taken by the Liberal Democrats to try to distinguish themselves from other parties has been that of ‘fairness and freedom’; for example, their 2010 Manifesto is structured in terms of the following headings:33 Op. cit.6th May 2010 13
  • 14.  Fair Taxes that Put Money Back in Your Pocket  A Fair Chance for Every Child  A Fair Future creating Jobs by making Britain Greener  A Fair Deal by Cleaning Up Politics2.26 Although the Manifesto contains a number of measures designed to enhance social mobility, including a ‘Pupil Premium’ (p.33) to help disadvantaged children, and youth employment measures (p.24)34, it does not contain a single reference to careers education, information, advice and guidance.2.27 However, in a January 2009 Policy Paper No. 89, ‚Equity and Excellence: Policies for 15-19 Education in England Schools and Colleges‛, the Liberal Democrats did commit themselves to ensuring an independent career and course advisory service for young people. In this policy paper, under the heading ‘Freedom for Schools, Pupils and Parents’, they indicate they would:  ‘Require local authorities to run a truly independent career and course advisory service for young people.  Give 14–19 year-olds the right to take up a course at college, rather than at school, if it suits them better. This will enable all children to choose to study, for example, separate sciences or modern languages at GCSE, or a vocational subject.  Scrap the Government’s plan to criminalise those who leave education between the age of 16 and 18. ’ (p.6)35 Interestingly, the first of these commitments did not make it to the 2010 Manifesto though the other two commitments did.34 Op. cit.35 Op. cit.6th May 2010 14
  • 15. 3.0 Emerging themes and conclusions ‘Universal’ versus ‘targeted’ provision3.1 The debate around ‘universal’ versus ‘targeted’ provision has its roots in the past. The 1973 Employment and Training Act placed a statutory requirement on Local Education Authorities (LEAs) for ensuring the provision of careers education, information, advice and guidance for all young people. However, the same Act merely permitted (rather than required) LEAs to make provision for adults where resources allowed. This distinction between statutory/mandated youth and permitted adult guidance has been an enduring feature of provision within England and is an issue that still resonates within current political party policies.3.2 The cyclical nature of economic prosperity and recession and the consequent fluctuations in both youth and adult unemployment has led over the last few decades to a differential targeting of services and resources on identified priority groups. Following the Conservative Government’s introduction of competitive tendering for careers services in 1993, the Labour administration elected in 1997 placed a greater emphasis on working with disaffected client groups, particularly the NEET group.3.3 This change of emphasis, known as the ‘refocusing’ of the Careers Service, served to heighten the debate about ‘universal’ versus ‘targeted’ provision. For example, it led to the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions making the following statement in its 2009 final report: ‘The Connexions service seems to have focused on the disadvantaged minority to the detriment of the aspirational majority. Across the board too many able children from average income and middle class families are losing out in the race for professional jobs.’ (p.6) It was this view which led the Panel to recommend the breaking up of the Connexions service to create a dedicated, professional careers advisory service in every school and college, leaving just a residual specialist service free to focus on young people not in education, employment or training.3.4 Although this recommendation from the Panel was rejected, the Labour Government did recognise that Connexions delivery needed to be comprehensively improved and, subject to a quality review in 2011, it reserved the right to implement the Panel’s recommendation at some future date. The Conservatives policy to create a new all- age careers service is clearly rooted in what they see as the failure of Connexions,6th May 2010 15
  • 16. particularly linked to the ‘re-focusing’ agenda. Although there was no clear statement in their 2010 Manifesto, the Liberal Democrats, in their January 2009 Policy Paper No. 89, commit to an independent career and course advisory service for young people.3.5 The conclusion emerging from this analysis of ‘universal’ versus ‘targeted’ provision is that whatever the outcome of the 2010 General Election, it would appear that there is a consensus about the need to develop more professional, dedicated careers advisory services to meet the needs of the majority, irrespective of whether this may be via a single all-age service or via separate services for young people and for adults. The importance of technology in the development and delivery of services3.6 In Section 2 the importance of technology in the delivery of information, advice and guidance services is briefly discussed. The Conservatives pointed to a need to provide more information and guidance online, (para.2.22), and the Labour Party emphasized the importance of technology in making the new adult advancement and careers service more widely accessible to customers and in providing an infrastructure to support the work of advisers in maintaining and tracking the relationship with customers, (para.2.23). In addition, Connexions Direct, aimed at 13 to 19 year olds, is an established branded service delivered remotely using various forms of communication technology.3.7 An expert paper for UKCES36 highlights how rapidly services have been transformed by digital technology over the last decade and how, in particular, the use of digital technology has been completely normalised for young people. The paper draws attention to the distinction between young people who have grown up with the digital revolution over the last decade, the so-called ‘digital natives’, and older people, the so-called ‘digital immigrants’. The paper makes the interesting observation that, specifically in relation to services for adults, both the majority of clients and practitioners delivering services will be digital immigrants, at least in the short to medium term, and that this has profound implications for service design and36 Bimrose, J. & Barnes, S.A (2010) Careers Information, Advice & Guidance: the digital revolution and repositioning oflabour market information - An Expert Paper for UKCES. Coventry: Institute for Employment Research, University ofWarwick.6th May 2010 16
  • 17. delivery. An additional expert paper was also submitted by iCeGS37 to the UKCES for consideration.3.8 The National Audit Office38 highlighted the effectiveness of the mass-marketing of the then learndirect service in providing millions of advice sessions for adults each year, by telephone and via the internet. The National Audit Office also highlighted the potential cost-effectiveness provided by mass-marketing and mass- communication technology, and identified further cost saving associated with the rationalisation of supply chain arrangements.3.9 As well as its cost-effectiveness potential, research findings show that guidance delivered remotely by communication technology can be of a high quality measured against standards used in the assessment of face-to-face guidance. For example, an evaluation of the learndirect telephone guidance trial39 found that the majority of users were satisfied with all key aspects of the service, with a quarter of calls surveyed being graded ‘excellent’.3.10 Given the increasing profile of new technology, and given its effectiveness and particularly its cost-effectiveness in the delivery of services, it would be reasonable to conclude that its use may become even more prevalent and significant for a future administration forced to make the harsh savings in public expenditure required by the budget deficit. Indeed, the Labour Party in its blueprint for the new adult advancement and careers service proposed to maintain capacity in the face-to-face channel in 2010-11 at broadly its current target level, but to increase the capacity of the telephone channel to process 1 million calls per annum and to increase capacity of the online channel to process up to 20 million online sessions per annum40. Social mobility and the generational issue3.11 Careers England has requested a focus upon social mobility for adults, particularly within the context of lifelong learning and an ageing population. However, there is a37 Hooley, T., Hutchinson, J., & Watts, A.G. (2010) Careering through the web: the potential of Web 2.0 and 3.0 forcareer development and career support services – An Expert Paper for UKCES, Derby: International Centre forGuidance Studies (iCeGS)38National Audit Office (2005). Extending Access to Learning Through Technology: Ufi and the Learndirect Service.Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General. HC 460 Session 2005-2006. 4 November 2005. London: NationalAudit Office. Accessed 18.04.10:http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/nao_reports/05-06/0506460.pdf39Page, R., Newton, B., Hawthorn, R., Hunt, W. and Hillage, J. (2007). An Evaluation of Ufi/Learndirect TelephoneGuidance Trial. DfES Research Report RR833. London: DfES. Accessed 21.04.10:http://www.employment-studies.co.uk/pdflibrary/rr833.pdf40 Op. cit.6th May 2010 17
  • 18. consensus that an individual’s life chances are largely determined by experiences in childhood and early adulthood41 and this underpins the emphasis the three parties place in their social mobility-related strategies on removing child poverty and on education. All three parties recognise the importance of learning and upskilling well beyond school and university, and all have committed to the scrapping of the fixed retirement age. All three parties also recognise the contribution that older people can make to society as a whole, and the Labour Party, for example, made a specific Manifesto commitment to helping older people to get involved in their communities.3.12 This recognition by the political parties of the continuing contribution that older people can make, both to the economy and to society as a whole, provides the opportunity for Careers England to stress the importance of information, advice and guidance for those aged 50+. The impact of careers services and their contribution to social mobility3.13 It is clear that the drive for ‘value for money’ and ‘accountability’ of public services, including competitive tendering and the setting of performance targets, will continue to dominate policy setting and policy implementation. The current budget deficit and emphasis upon cutting ‘waste’ and making significant savings to the public purse, will underline the importance of the added-value contribution of careers services to the new Government’s social mobility agenda. 3.14 Although careers services form a relatively small part of wider social mobility strategies, they are viewed by the three main parties as providing an important contributory function, with professionally delivered information, advice and guidance ‘oiling’ the wheels of social mobility and economic prosperity for individuals, communities and the wider economy. This provides Careers England with a strong and firm foundation on which to present in the final report the evidence-base, rooted in research findings and testimonies from key stakeholders that will:  demonstrate the impact and added-value contribution of careers services;  clarify the nature of the contribution that such services make to the wider social mobility agenda; and,  within the context of the budget deficit, help justify continued expenditure in these services.41See Chapter 2: Cabinet Office (2009) Unleashing Aspiration: The Final Report of the Panel on Fair Access to theProfessions. London: Cabinet Office. Accessed 21.03.10:http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/227102/fair-access.pdf6th May 2010 18
  • 19. 3.15 In conclusion, the next stage of development work will involve interviewing at least five key informants from industry, policy development, research and practice. From this further analysis of research findings on the impact and effectiveness of careers services work and its added-value contribution to social mobility will be undertaken. This will culminate in the production of a formal paper from Careers England setting out the evidence of the impact of careers advice and guidance on social mobility and the economy, and derived from the key findings, crucial next steps which a new Government should be urged to take in respect of policy for careers services in England.AcknowledgementsThe author is particularly grateful to the Careers England Quality Task Group, in particularto Joanna van de Poll and Paul Chubb, for their invaluable input and support. GeoffGration, Senior Associate, kindly acted a critical reader and his very helpful comments weregratefully received.Deirdre Hughes is Director of DMH Associates, President and Fellow of the UK-wide Institute ofCareer Guidance (ICG), Founding Director of the International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS),University of Derby and Associate Fellow at the Institute for Employment Research (IER),University of Warwick. She is currently undertaking a major review of careers services in Wales andspecialises in the UK evidence-base for careers work.Email: deirdre.hughes3@btinternet.com6th May 2010 19
  • 20. Appendix 1: The Conservative Manifesto 2010Invitation to Join the Government of Britain:  change the economy;  change society;  change politics;  protect the environment;  promote our national interest.Summary of Conservative commitments related to social mobility issues:The Conservative Manifesto 2010 uses the term ‘social mobility’ twice, particularly stressingthe importance of education: ‘<< improving the school system is the most important thingwe can do to make opportunity more equal and address our declining social mobility.’ (p.51)The only reference to careers advice is where the manifesto commits to the creation of ‘<anew all-age careers service so that everyone can access the advice they need.’ (p.17)The measures they propose to improve the school system are described in the section Changesociety: raise standards in schools and include: toughening school discipline and making it easier for teachers to deal with violent incidents and remove disruptive pupils or items from the classroom; raising the status of teaching, raising the entry requirement for taxpayer funded primary school teacher training, and expecting new graduates to have at least a 2:2 in their degree in order to qualify for state-funded training; allowing schools and colleges to offer workplace training.In the section Change the economy: get Britain working again, the manifesto states a number ofmeasures designed to ‘reduce youth unemployment and reduce the number of children inworkless households as part of our strategy for tackling poverty and inequality. ’ (p.15)These measures include: a Work Programme offering targeted, personalised help and pre-employment training to unemployed people; 4200 more SureStart Health Visitors giving all parents a guaranteed level of support before and after birth until their child starts school; creating 400,000 work pairing, apprenticeship, college and training places over two years; giving SMEs a £2,000 bonus for every apprentice they hire; establishing a Community Learning Fund to help people restart their careers; creating a new all-age careers service so that everyone can access the advice they need; re-establish the Further Education Funding Council as a single agency to deliver the public funding of Further Education colleges.6th May 2010 20
  • 21. 1.1 References to key terms related to ‘social mobility’, ‘social inclusion’, ‘social exclusion’, ‘careers advice’ and ‘careers guidance’ The Conservative Manifesto 2010 was searched using the following key terms the results of which are given below: ‘social mobility’, ‘social inclusion’, ‘social exclusion’, ‘career(s)’, ‘careers advice’, ‘careers guidance’, ‘careers education’, ‘advice’, ‘information’, ‘impartial/impartiality’, and ‘lifelong learning’. The term ‘social mobility’ features twice:  ‘Labour’s big Government approach is making our social problems worst not better – inequality and poverty on the rise; social mobility stalled; family breakdown a fact of life for too many children.’ Foreword from David Cameron (viii)  ‘Improving our schools system is the most important thing we can do to make opportunity more equal and address our declining social mobility.’ (p.51) The term ‘career(s)’ features twice in the document: ‘This will allow us to:  establish a Community Learning Fund to help people restart their careers; and,  create a new all-age careers service so that everyone can access the advice they need.’ P. 17 The term ‘advice’ features twice more, in addition to the reference above:  ‘We will launch Britain’s first free national financial advice service, funded in full through a new social responsibility levy on the financial services sector.’ (p.11)  ‘Families need the best possible advice and support while their children are young. We will provide 4,200 more Sure Start health visitors – giving all parents a guaranteed level of support before and after birth until their child starts school.’ (p.43) The term ‘guidance’ features just once, in relation to the DNA database and not within a careers context. The terms ‘impartial/impartiality’ does not feature in a context relevant to careers information, advice and guidance-related issues and the term ‘lifelong learning’ does not feature at all. In addition, the terms ‘social exclusion’ and ‘social inclusion’ are absent from the document. The manifesto was also searched for social mobility-related policies linked to ‘training’ and ‘education’ and these results are given in the following sections.6th May 2010 21
  • 22. 1.2 ‘Change the economy: get Britain working again’ Relevant measures to increase social mobility, extracted from this section of the manifesto, are given below. ‘We will reduce youth unemployment and reduce the number of children in workless households as part of our strategy for tackling poverty and inequality Under Labour, youth unemployment has reached over 900,000, with one in five young people unable to find a job. We are at risk of creating a lost generation of young people without the skills to participate in the workforce, without hope for the future. At the same time, economic inactivity is rising, and more than five million people are out of work and on benefits. This tidal wave of worklessness is making it hard for many families to make ends meet. In recent years, the number of people living in severe poverty has risen. One in six children in the UK now lives in a workless household – the highest proportion of any country in Europe and child poverty has gone up in recent years. Getting people back into work is an essential part of realising the goal of eliminating child poverty by 2020, and ensuring that everyone benefits from economic growth. We will scrap Labour’s failing employment schemes and create a single Work Programme for everyone who is unemployed, including the 2.6 million people claiming Incapacity Benefit who do not get enough help from existing programmes. We will reassess all current claimants of Incapacity Benefit. Those found fit for work will be transferred onto Jobseeker’s Allowance. Recipients of Incapacity Benefit who are genuinely disabled will continue to receive the financial support to which they are entitled. Our Work Programme will:  offer people targeted, personalised help sooner – straight away for those with serious barriers to work and at six months for those aged under 25;  be delivered through private and voluntary sector providers, which will be rewarded on a payment by results basis for getting people into sustainable work;  draw on a range of Service Academies to offer pre-employment training for unemployed people – our first Service Academy, for hospitality and leisure, will provide up to 50,000 training places and work placements and involve the development of local Work Clubs – places where people looking for work can gather together to exchange skills, find opportunities, make useful contacts and provide mutual support.’ (p. 15-16) In addition to the above, this section of the manifesto also includes the following commitment: ‘A Conservative Government will not accept another generation being consigned to an uncertain future of worklessness and dependency. We will promote fair access to universities, the professions, and good jobs for young people from all backgrounds.6th May 2010 22
  • 23. We will use funding that currently supports Labour’s ineffective employment and training schemes, such as Train2Gain, to provide our own help for people looking to improve their skills. This will allow us to:  create 400,000 work pairing, apprenticeship, college and training places over two years;  give SMEs a £2,000 bonus for every apprentice they hire;  establish a Community Learning Fund to help people restart their careers; and,  create a new all-age careers service so that everyone can access the advice they need. To meet the skills challenge we face, the training sector needs to be given the freedom to innovate. We will set colleges free from direct state control and abolish many of the further education quangos Labour have put in place. Public funding will follow the choices of students and be delivered by a single agency, the Further Education Funding Council.’ (p. 17) In addition to the above, this section of the manifesto also includes the following commitments: ‘We will look at how to abolish the default retirement age, as many older people want to carry on working.’ (p.16) and: ‘We will provide 4200 more SureStart Health Visitors giving all parents a guaranteed level of support before and after birth until their child starts school. (p.43)1.3 ‘Change society: raise standards in schools’ Relevant measures to increase social mobility, extracted from this section of the manifesto, are given below. ‘Improving our school system is the most important thing we can do to make opportunity more equal and address our declining social mobility. But Britain is slipping down the world league tables in reading, Maths and Science, and violence in the classroom is a serious problem. We are falling behind other countries, and there is a growing gap between the richest and the poorest. We can’t go on like this, for the sake of the next generations. A Conservative Government will give many more children access to the kind of education that is currently only available to the well-off: safe classrooms, talented and specialist teachers, access to the best curriculum and exams, and smaller schools with smaller class sizes with teachers who know the children’s names. The single most important thing for a good education is for every child to have access to a good teacher. We will take steps to enhance the status of the teaching profession and ensure it attracts the best people. Schools – especially struggling ones – must be able to6th May 2010 23
  • 24. attract the best teachers and subject specialists, so we will give all head teachers the power to pay good teachers more. We will expand Teach First and introduce two new programmes – Teach Now, for people looking to change career, and Troops to Teachers, for ex-service personnel – to get experienced, high-quality people into the profession. We will make it easier for teachers to deal with violent incidents and remove disruptive pupils or items from the classroom. We believe heads are best placed to improve behaviour, which is why we will stop them being overruled by bureaucrats on exclusions. To raise the status of teaching and toughen school discipline further, we will:  raise the entry requirement for taxpayer funded primary school teacher training; • expect new graduates to have at least a 2:2 in their degree in order to qualify for state-funded training; <<.’ (p.51) In addition to the above, this section of the manifesto also includes the following commitment: ‘Under Labour, the exam system has become devalued. We will ensure that our exam system is measured against the most rigorous systems in the world. We will keep Key Stage 2 tests and league tables. We will reform them to make them more rigorous. We will make other exams more robust by giving universities and academics more say over their form and content. We want to develop proper vocational and technical education that engages young people and meets the needs of modern business. So we will establish Technical Academies across England, starting in at least twelve cities. People expect to be able to make choices about the services they use, based on robust information about the quality on offer. So a Conservative Government will reform school league tables so that schools can demonstrate they are stretching the most able and raising the attainment of the less able. To improve school standards further, we will:  allow all state schools the freedom to offer the same high quality international exams that private schools offer – including giving every pupil the chance to study separate sciences at GCSE;  create 20,000 additional young apprenticeships;  allow schools and colleges to offer workplace training.’ (p. 52) In addition to the above, this section of the manifesto also includes the following commitment: ‘Education’s real power lies in its ability to transform life chances, but we can’t go on giving the poorest children the worst education. That is why we will introduce a pupil premium – extra funding for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The most vulnerable children deserve the very highest quality of care, so we will call a moratorium on the ideologically-driven closure of special schools. We will end the bias towards the inclusion of children with special needs in mainstream schools.’ (p.53)6th May 2010 24
  • 25. Appendix 2: The Labour Party Manifesto 2010 A future fair for allSummary of Labour commitments related to social mobility issues:The Labour Party Manifesto 2010 uses the term ‘social mobility’ five times, particularlystressing the importance of education: ‘Education is the key to personal fulfillment,economic prosperity and social mobility. Our goal is educational excellence for every child,whatever their background or circumstances.’ (p. 3:2) One reference to social mobility makesa specific policy commitment in relation to careers advice: ‘To increase social mobility,careers advice for young people, including for younger children, will be overhauled,ensuring much better information and guidance.’ P. 3:7The educational measures linked to social mobility are described in Chapter 3, Education:Excellence in education: every child the chance to fulfil their potential (p.3:2) and include:  Spending increased on frontline Sure Start and free childcare, schools and 16-19 learning.  An expansion of free nursery places for two year olds and 15 hours a week of flexible, free nursery education for three and four year olds.  Every pupil leaving primary school secure in the basics, with a 3Rs guarantee of one- to-one and small-group tuition for every child falling behind; and in secondary school, every pupil with a personal tutor and a choice of good qualifications.  A choice of good schools in every area – and, where parents are not satisfied – the power to bring in new school leadership teams, through mergers and take-overs, with up to 1,000 secondary schools part of an accredited schools group by 2015.  Every young person guaranteed education or training until 18, with 75 per cent going on to higher education, or completing an advanced apprenticeship or technician level training, by the age of 30.’Training and work-related measures linked to social mobility are described in Chapter 2,Living standards: Prosperity for all not just a few (p.2:2), and in Chapter 3, Education:Excellence in education: every child the chance to fulfill their potential (p.3:2), and include:  200,000 jobs through the Future Jobs Fund, with a job or training place for young people who are out of work for six months, but benefits cut at ten months if they refuse a place; and anyone unemployed for more than two years guaranteed work, but no option of life on benefits.  A National Minimum Wage rising at least in line with average earnings, and a new £40-a-week Better Off in Work guarantee.  More advanced apprenticeships and Skills Accounts for workers to upgrade their skills’  The right to request flexible working for older workers, with an end to default retirement at 65, enabling more people to decide for themselves how long they choose to keep working.’6th May 2010 25
  • 26. 1.1 References to key terms related to ‘social mobility’, ‘social inclusion’, ‘social exclusion’, ‘careers advice’ and ‘careers guidance’ The Labour Party Manifesto 2010 was searched using the following key terms the results of which are given below: ‘social mobility’, ‘social inclusion’, ‘social exclusion’, ‘career(s)’, ‘careers advice’, ‘careers guidance’, ‘careers education’, ‘advice’, ‘information’, ‘impartial/impartiality’, and ‘lifelong learning’. The term ‘social mobility’ features five times in the document:  ‘Education is the key to personal fulfillment, economic prosperity and social mobility. Our goal is educational excellence for every child, whatever their background or circumstances.’ P. 3:2  ‘Barriers to social mobility will be tackled by giving disadvantaged families free access to broadband to support their child’s learning.’ P. 3:4  ‘But to ensure a new wave of social mobility, we are committed to an historic change: raising the education and training leaving age to 18. All young people will stay on in learning until 18, Education Maintenance Allowances will be retained and there will be an entitlement to an apprenticeship place in 2013 for all suitably qualified 16-18 year olds.’ P. 3:6  ‘Universities must continue to raise their game in outreach to state schools, widening participation and boosting social mobility. We will guarantee mentoring and support for higher education applications to all low-income pupils with the potential for university study, with extra summer schools and help with UCAS applications; and expand programmes to encourage highly able students from low-income backgrounds to attend Russell Group universities.’ P. 3:7  ‘To increase social mobility, careers advice for young people, including for younger children, will be overhauled, ensuring much better information and guidance.’ P. 3:7 The term ‘career(s)’ features seven times in the document but only once specifically in relation to careers advice, as noted above in the citation from p. 3:7; the term is most often used in a more generic sense, e.g.: ‘Creative Bursaries will support the most artistically gifted young people in their early professional careers.’ P. 7:3. The term ‘guidance’ features just once in the document together with ‘careers advice’ and ‘social mobility’ as noted above in the citation from p. 3:7. The term ‘advice’ features five more times in addition to the reference noted above in the citation from p. 3:7:  ‘Modern trade unions are an important part of our society and economy, providing6th May 2010 26
  • 27. protection and advice for employees, and working for equality and greater fairness in the workplace.’ (p. 2:5)  ‘We will guarantee the three million households who rent from a private landlord the right to a written tenancy agreement and access to free and impartial advice; and we will establish a new National Landlord Register.’ (p. 2:5)  ‘Children’s Centres will become the bedrock of a new national under-fives service: ‘one-stop shops’, open to all families, offering excellent affordable childcare, healthcare and parenting advice.’ (p. 3:3)  ‘GPs will be encouraged to keep their patients healthy through exercise and healthy eating advice.’ (p. 4:4)  ‘We will continue to strengthen mental health provision in partnership with the Combat Stress charity, and roll out our Welfare Pathway to give personnel and their families better support and advice.’ (p. 10:4) The term ‘information’ appears repeatedly throughout the document in a variety of contexts with the more relevant examples given below:  ‘School Report Cards will give every parent clear information on standards, levels of parental satisfaction and behaviour and bullying. They will provide information on the progress being made by all pupils, not just by some. We will consult on giving every school an overall grade for its performance.’ p. 3:4  ‘All parents will be guaranteed online information about their child’s progress and behaviour.’ p. 3:4  ‘Students will be given clearer information on the quality of courses on offer, with a ‘traffic-light’ grading system for all courses and colleges.’ p. 3:6 The terms ‘impartial/impartiality’ appear only once in the document in relation to the proposed right of tenants of private landlords to ‘<.access free and impartial advice’, as noted above in the citation from p. 2:5. The terms ‘social inclusion’, ‘social exclusion’ and ‘lifelong learning’ do not feature at all. The manifesto was also searched for social mobility-related policies linked to ‘training’ and ‘education’ and these results are given in the following sections.1.2 ‘Living standards: Prosperity for all not just a few’ Relevant measures to increase social mobility, extracted from this section of the manifesto, are given below.6th May 2010 27
  • 28. ‘The challenge for Britain To grow together as a country, rewarding those who work hard so they can do well and look after their families: returning Britain to full employment, enabling people to get higher-paid and better jobs, and widening access to home ownership. The Tories have no plan for fairness; their decisions would make our society more unequal and unjust. The next stage of national renewal  200,000 jobs through the Future Jobs Fund, with a job or training place for young people who are out of work for six months, but benefits cut at ten months if they refuse a place; and anyone unemployed for more than two years guaranteed work, but no option of life on benefits.  A National Minimum Wage rising at least in line with average earnings, and a new £40-a-week Better Off in Work guarantee.  More advanced apprenticeships and Skills Accounts for workers to upgrade their skills’ (p.2:2) In addition to the above, this chapter of the manifesto also includes a commitment to training and support for homeless people:  ‘We are committed to ending rough sleeping by 2012, and we will tackle the problems faced by homeless people with multiple needs. We will provide homeless 16 and 17 year olds with Foyer-based supported accommodation and training including help with parenting skills.’ (p. 2:6)1.3 ‘Education: Excellence in education: every child the chance to fulfill their potential’ Relevant measures to increase social mobility, extracted from this section of the manifesto, are given below. ‘The challenge for Britain To raise standards, promote excellence and narrow achievement gaps by giving the best school leaders and federations more schools to run, and by giving parents new rights and clear guarantees of high-quality teaching and support for every pupil — underpinned by increased spending. The Tories want to gamble with our children’s education, putting school improvement at risk and taking away the guarantees of an excellent education for all. The next stage of national renewal  Spending increased on frontline Sure Start and free childcare, schools and 16-19 learning.6th May 2010 28
  • 29.  An expansion of free nursery places for two year olds and 15 hours a week of flexible, free nursery education for three and four year olds.  Every pupil leaving primary school secure in the basics, with a 3Rs guarantee of one-to-one and small-group tuition for every child falling behind; and in secondary school, every pupil with a personal tutor and a choice of good qualifications.  A choice of good schools in every area – and, where parents are not satisfied – the power to bring in new school leadership teams, through mergers and take-overs, with up to 1,000 secondary schools part of an accredited schools group by 2015.  Every young person guaranteed education or training until 18, with 75 per cent going on to higher education, or completing an advanced apprenticeship or technician level training, by the age of 30.’ (p.3:2) In addition to the above, this chapter of the manifesto also includes the following commitment:  ‘We will promote new Teacher Training Academies and £10,000 ‘golden handcuffs’ to attract the best teachers into the most challenging schools.’ (p. 3:3)1.4 ‘Families and older people: Supporting families throughout life’ Relevant measures to increase social mobility, extracted from this section of the manifesto, are given below. ‘The challenge for Britain To support all families in a rapidly changing world that places new and rising demands on all of us. We will help families to realise their aspirations — whatever their circumstances — and we recognise the huge contribution older people make to society and to family life. The Tories propose a marriage tax allowance that is divisive and unfair, will neglect growing care needs among frail elderly people and disabled adults, and prioritise only the privileged few. The next stage of national renewal  More help for parents to balance work and family life, with a ‘Father’s Month’ of flexible paid leave.  A new Toddler Tax Credit of £4 a week from 2012 to give more support to all parents of young children – whether they want to stay at home or work.  The right to request flexible working for older workers, with an end to default retirement at 65, enabling more people to decide for themselves how long they choose to keep working.’ (p.6:2)6th May 2010 29
  • 30. In addition to the above, this chapter of the manifesto also includes the following commitment: To expand the choices available for those wishing to work after retirement, we will enable people aged 60 and over to claim Working Tax Credit if they work at least 16 hours a week, rather than 30 hours as at present. (p.6:4) Many charities, voluntary organisations and schools value and rely on the contribution of older people and we support the growing number of excellent initiatives creating greater understanding across the generations. We will continue to support older people in getting involved in their community by providing matched funding for community projects. (p.6:4)6th May 2010 30
  • 31. Appendix 3: The Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010 ‚Fair Taxes that Put Money Back in Your Pocket, A Fair Chance for Every Child, a Fair Future creating Jobs by making Britain Greener, and a Fair Deal by Cleaning Up Politics‛ Summary of Liberal Democrat commitments related to social mobility issues: Although the term ‘social mobility’ does not feature in the Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010, it does contains a number of policy commitments in the areas of education, training and employment designed to enhance fairness and equality of opportunity. However, nowhere in the manifesto is there a specific reference to careers education, information, advice and guidance. This contrasts with a commitment made in January 2009, Policy Paper 89, in which the Liberal Democrats made a specific commitment to require ‘Local Authorities to run a truly independent career and course advisory service for young people’ (p.6)42. Policy commitments in the areas of education, training and employment designed to enhance fairness and equality of opportunity, include:  Increase the funding of the most disadvantaged pupils, around one million children. We will invest £2.5 billion in this ‘Pupil Premium’ to boost education opportunities for every child.  Create a General Diploma to bring GCSEs, A levels and high quality vocational qualifications together, enabling pupils to mix academic and vocational learning.  Give 14–19 year-olds the right to take up a course at college, rather than at school, if it suits them better. This will enable all children to choose to study, for example, separate sciences or modern languages at GCSE, or a vocational subject.  Scrap the Government’s plan to criminalise those who leave education between the age of 16 and 18.  Introduce a work placement scheme with up to 800,000 places to ensure that young people have the opportunity to gain skills, qualifications and work experience even if they can’t find a job. Young people on the scheme would be paid £55 a week for up to three months.  Fully meet the up-front costs of adult apprenticeships, and increase the Adult Learning Grant to £45 a week for 18–24 year-olds in Further Education.1.1 References to key terms related to ‘social mobility’, ‘social inclusion’, ‘social exclusion’, ‘careers advice’ and ‘careers guidance’ The Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010 was searched using the following key terms the results of which are given below:42 Op. cit.6th May 2010 31
  • 32. ‘social mobility’, ‘social inclusion’, ‘social exclusion’, ‘career(s)’, ‘careers advice’, ‘careers guidance’, ‘careers education’, ‘advice’, ‘information’, ‘impartial/impartiality’, and ‘lifelong learning’. The terms ‘social mobility’, ‘social exclusion’, ‘career’, ‘careers advice’, ‘careers guidance’, ‘careers education’, and ‘lifelong learning’ do not feature in the Liberal Democrat Manifesto. The term ‘information’ features many times in a variety of contexts none of which are related to careers-relevant information except for but only once as follows:  ‘Reform league tables to give parents more meaningful information’. (p.36) The term ‘impartial’ features once and in relation to a strong and diverse media ‘<.. to provide impartial news’. (p.46) The term ‘social inclusion’ features once. In introducing their policy commitments linked to culture and sport, the Liberal Democrats emphasis the contribution that arts make to innovation, education, diversity and social inclusion. The manifesto was also searched for social mobility-related policies linked to ‘training’ and ‘education’ and these results are given in the following sections.1.2 ‘Creating jobs that last’ Relevant measures to increase social mobility, extracted from this section of the manifesto, are given below. ‘We will also create hundreds of thousands of opportunities for young people affected by the recession. A work placement scheme with up to 800,000 places will ensure that young people have the opportunity to gain skills, qualifications and work experience even if they can’t find a job. Young people on the scheme would be paid £55 a week for up to three months. We will also fund 15,000 extra Foundation Degree places, fully meet the up-front costs of adult apprenticeships, and increase the Adult Learning Grant to £45 a week for 18–24 year-olds in Further Education. ‘ (p.24)1.3 ‘The best chance for every child’ Relevant measures to increase social mobility, extracted from this section of the manifesto, are given below. ‘Liberal Democrats want every child to receive an excellent education, to unlock children’s potential and to ensure that they can succeed in life. Too many children are still leaving school without the knowledge and skills to be successful. And your family background still has a huge effect: a typical child from a poor family will fall behind a richer classmate by the age of seven and never catch up. We will seek to ensure that all pupils leaving primary and secondary education have the skills they need. We will free schools from the present stranglehold of central government control and encourage them to be genuinely innovative. We will invest additional money in the6th May 2010 32
  • 33. schools system to allow schools to cut class sizes, pay for one-to-one tuition, introduce catch-up classes, or take other steps to ensure that every child has the best possible education. We will therefore ensure that every neighbourhood is served by an excellent local school or college. We will:  Increase the funding of the most disadvantaged pupils, around one million children. We will invest £2.5 billion in this ‘Pupil Premium’ to boost education opportunities for every child. This is additional money going into the schools budget, and headteachers will be free to spend it in the best interests of children.  The extra money could be used to cut class sizes, attract the best teachers, offer extra one-to-one tuition and provide for after-school and holiday support. This will allow an average primary school to cut classes to 20 and an average secondary school to introduce catch-up classes for 160 pupils.  Improve discipline by early intervention to tackle the poor basic education of those children who are otherwise most likely to misbehave and become demotivated.  Guarantee Special Educational Needs (SEN) diagnostic assessments for all 5-year- olds, improve SEN provision and improve SEN training for teachers.  Improve teacher training by increasing the size of the school-based Graduate Teacher Programme and support the expansion of Teach First to attract more top graduates into teaching. We will improve training for existing teachers over the course of their careers to keep them up to date with best practice. We will seek to ensure that science at Key Stage 4 and above is taught by appropriately qualified teachers.’ (p.33-34)1.4 ‘A better education: standards and the curriculum’ Relevant measures to increase social mobility, extracted from this section of the manifesto, are given below. ‘To make the most of their years at school, every child needs an education tailored to suit their abilities and interests. The restrictive National Curriculum and the arbitrary split between academic and vocational qualifications isn’t working. We will:  Establish a fully independent Educational Standards Authority (ESA) with real powers to stand up to ministers and restore confidence in standards. The ESA would oversee the examinations system, the systems of school inspection and accountability, and the detail of the curriculum. It would replace the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency and the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (OFQUAL), and include OFSTED, the schools inspectorate.6th May 2010 33
  • 34.  Replace the bureaucratic Early Years Foundation Stage with a slimmed-down framework which includes a range of educational approaches and enough flexibility for every young child.  Axe the rigid National Curriculum, and replace it with a slimmed down ‘Minimum Curriculum Entitlement’ to be delivered by every state-funded school.  Scale back Key Stage 2 tests at age 11, and use teacher assessment, with external checking, to improve the quality of marking.  Create a General Diploma to bring GCSEs, A levels and high quality vocational qualifications together, enabling pupils to mix academic and vocational learning.  Give 14–19 year-olds the right to take up a course at college, rather than at school, if it suits them better. This will enable all children to choose to study, for example, separate sciences or modern languages at GCSE, or a vocational subject.  Seek to close the unfair funding gap between pupils in school sixth forms and Further Education colleges, as resources allow.  Scrap the Government’s plan to criminalise those who leave education between the age of 16 and 18.’ (p.35-36)1.5 ‘Opportunities at college and university’ Relevant measures to increase social mobility, extracted from this section of the manifesto, are given below. ‘There should be a wide range of opportunities for everyone at the age of 16. Liberal Democrats believe that education is important for all young people, and will create, finally, a level playing field between academic and vocational. And we will ensure that adults who wish to study, including those wanting to return to education later on in life, are able to do so without being put off by the burden of debt. We will:  Scrap unfair university tuition fees for all students taking their first degree, including those studying part-time, saving them over £10,000 each. We have a financially responsible plan to phase fees out over six years, so that the change is affordable even in these difficult economic times, and without cutting university income. We will immediately scrap fees for final year students.  Reform current bursary schemes to create a National Bursary Scheme for students, so that each university gets a bursary budget suited to the needs of its students. These bursaries would be awarded both on the basis of studying strategic subjects (such as sciences and mathematics) and financial hardship.6th May 2010 34
  • 35.  Replace wasteful quangos (the Skills Funding Agency and the Higher Education Funding Council for England) with a single Council for Adult Skills and Higher Education.  Scrap the arbitrary target of 50 per cent of young people attending university, focussing effort instead on a balance of college education, vocational training and apprenticeships.  Start discussions with universities and schools about the design of a trial scheme whereby the best students from the lowest achieving schools are guaranteed a place in Higher Education  As part of our immediate job creation package, fund 15,000 new places on Foundation Degree courses and fully fund the off-the-job costs of adult apprenticeships, which currently have to be met by employers, for one year. Better target spending on adult skills. We will end Train to Gain funding for large companies, restricting the funds to the small and medium-sized firms that need the support. The money saved will be used to cover the course fees for adults taking a first Level 3 qualification (such as A-levels or an adult apprenticeship), allowing a significant reduction in the overall budget.’ (p.38-40)1.6 Dignity and security in later life ‘Scrap compulsory retirement ages, allowing those who wish to continue in work to do so.’ (p.52)6th May 2010 35