UK pupils lack career help

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The Independent Online
VOCATIONAL guidance for British schoolchildren ranks poorly alongside the help given to their Continental counterparts and should be addressed in the Department of Employment's current review of career guidance in schools, according to a new report from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, writes Peter Torday.

The NIESR says few British pupils halfway through their final year of compulsory schooling 'had any focused plans about the major choices they faced at 16 - other than putting off that decision by staying on into the sixth form'.

This 'leaves many British youngsters at a distinct disadvantage in comparison to their Continental peers in making a successful transition to the world of work'.

The institute points to a more effective use of 'work experience' for Continental pupils in their final year at school, often with several employers. Moreover, British careers teachers are often untrained, with limited first-hand knowledge of industry.