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This Lords Library Briefing has been prepared in advance of the debate due to take place on 6 September 2018 in the House of Lords on the motion moved by Lord Aberdare (Crossbench), “that this House takes note of the case for high-quality careers education and advice to be available to all students”.

The provision of high-quality careers education and advice for students has been advocated as a means of promoting greater social mobility. The charity Education and Employers has argued factors such as socio-economic background and gender might limit someone’s expectations of the kinds of employment open to them. However, the Institute for Education has said that careers education has the potential to widen young people’s aspirations. Careers advice has also been promoted as a means of enabling the workforce to better adapt to changes to the jobs market and help people to ensure their skills training better matched the needs of the UK economy.

The quality and consistency of careers education and advice available for students has been questioned. Focusing on careers education and guidance in schools in England, parliamentary committees including the House of Lords Social Mobility Committee, the House of Commons Education Committee and the House of Commons Education, Skills and the Economy Sub-Committee have all argued that careers education and advice was inadequate and needed to be improved.

Various governments have attempted to improve standards in careers education and advice. Most recently, in 2017, the Conservative Government published Careers Strategy: Making the Most of Everyone’s Skills and Talents

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