Young people and the Connexions service

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2011 National Delegate Conference
14 February 2011

Conference condemns the high levels of unemployment and that one in five young people are without work.

Conference believes that the Con-Dem coalition government’s policies are actively contributing to this situation and are also ruining the employment prospects of our young people, and that the situation facing young people as they seek to find work and identify suitable careers is particularly acute.

Conference believes that the Connexions service has played a vital role in supporting young people as they make crucial life choices about entering the world of work, but acknowledges the government’s announcement to establish a new all-age careers service, and would support an approach that offers comprehensive national standards of careers guidance which could ensure that all service users can access the help they require no matter what their geographic or social background.

UNISON notes the government is expecting to have the proposed new service in place by September 2011.

Conference is concerned about:

1)the lack of detail of how this new service will operate and be assessed;

2)the blurred relationship between what schools and local authorities are each expected to deliver;

3)the impact on experienced and qualified existing staff during any transition;

4)what confidence young people can have in the proposed service.

Conference believes that the lack of a clear and coherent transition plan, and the levels of funding cuts now being experienced, will lead to at best an inadequate service and at worst a failed service, denying our young people the support they need.

Conference calls on the National Executive Council to ensure that adequate UNISON resources are devoted to campaigning for:

a)a high quality and professional careers service;

b)proper consultation with young users and prospective users of the new service;

c)adequate funding for an effective careers service;

d)a “transition plan” to maintain staffing and resources within the industry;

e)a careers services which will provide independent and impartial advice;

f)preservation of the holistic nature of existing careers advice;

g)proper recognition and support of careers service staff.