New service offering careers guidance launched

A GROUP of education professionals have set up a new service to help students and teenagers with career advice.

The move comes amid the recent closure of Connexions in Hastings, a similar scheme which offered support for teenagers, particularly those struggling with their college courses.

Connexions, which had an office in Queensbury House, Havelock Road, closed at the end of May.

The decision was made by East Sussex County Council, which ran the service via contractors Babcock Enterprise.

Following the closure teenagers in 1066 Country slammed the move as ‘ridiculous’.

So Pru Blackwell, an ex-college lecturer and English teacher, together with Janet Bass, an experienced careers adviser and Carrie Normoyle, a former school careers adviser, set up My Future Starts Here.

Mrs Blackwell said: “This year for the first time there will be no universal service to advise young people about the options available to them if the results they get leave them unsure about their next step.

“We designed this service in response to the unprecedented gaps in the guidance and support available to learners, intensified by the impending loss of the Excellence Cluster which over the years has done much to support inclusion and raise aspirations.

“There will still be support for a minority of the most vulnerable young people, but the majority will not have any access to impartial advice and guidance.

“At national level there is uncertainty about what, if any, provision for face-to-face careers guidance will exist in the future. Schools and colleges will obviously do all they can to support the transition of these young people, but without access to the impartial advice and guidance available in the past.

“A team of us have come together to provide the new service which we hope will have benefits in both the short and longer term for local young people.”

Peter Cobrin, education director for Not Going To Uni, a website designed to offer careers guidance and information on apprenticeships, said: “Anybody who is qualified and makes themselves available to give advice is a good thing. Careers guidance is a process, though, not just a one-off consultation.”

Mrs Blackwell and her team will be at Priory Meadow offering advice on Thursday, August 25, from 1pm to 7pm and Friday, August 26, from 11am to 5pm.

For more information log onto http://myfuturestartshere.info.