Concerns many students do not have access to good quality guidance
A report by the ESRI said it was a particular concern “that only one-third of PLC learners reported having had access to career guidance during their courses”
In 2012, 600 guidance counsellor posts were withdrawn from the education system. Some 500 of these have been restored in the past two budgets, but there are still concerns many students, particularly those in post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses, do not have access to adequate career guidance.
Earlier this month a report by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) stated it was a particular cause for concern “that only one-third of PLC learners reported having had access to career guidance during their courses”.
The report also stated PLCs were producing too many hairdressers, childcare and health workers for the jobs market.
And in November a survey of 3,200 secondary school students showed less than half (44 per cent) were satisfied with counselling and career guidance services at their schools.
Mr Bruton said the purpose of the review, which will examine secondary schools, universities and training courses, was to “ensure we are providing a high quality, relevant career guidance support service to all students from post-primary up to further and higher education”.
The review will examine what information is been given to students about possible careers, the quality of that information, and how the system is organised to support students in their choices.
It is part of the Minister’s Action Plan for Education “which aims to make the Irish education and training service the best in Europe” within a decade.
“As Minister I want to ensure that there are many pathways for people to achieve their ambitions through our education and training system, and relevant, comprehensive career guidance is important to guiding people through these pathways.
“I look forward to seeing the outcomes from this review, which is a priority if we are to make further progress in addressing the skills needs of individuals, enterprise and the economy,” Mr Bruton said.
It will, among other things, “assess how learners form their opinions around career choice, including when, who and what influences these choices”.
After the review is complete the group will issue recommendations to the Department of Education on what changes should be made to the career guidance system to engage students in the process and ensure they are receiving good quality information on potential career paths.
A report is expected by the middle of this year.