Every London child should have 100 hours of careers advice by 16, says Boris Johnson

The mayor described the recommendations of a report as a 'pragmatic way to tackle some of the challenges that young people face'

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The Independent Online

Every London child should have at least 100 hours of careers advice or work experience by the age of 16, Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said.

He spoke today at the launch of a report, produced by the Mayor of London’s Office, the London Enterprise Panel and London councils, which emphasised the importance of careers advice for young people.

He agreed with 'London Ambitions: Shaping a Successful Careers Offer for all Young Londoners' recommendations for a greater focus on "impartial, independent and personalised careers education."

The report also calls for a fixed entitlement of at least 100 hours of careers information, including one to one advice, employer talks, and work experience, among other blueprints for a more substantial role for career planning in education.

Mr Johnson described the recommendations as a "pragmatic way to tackle some of the challenges that young people face when trying to make the right career choices."

The publication also suggested that schools should publish policies on careers, with details of links with local businesses and a governor responsible for careers.

The report also called for all secondary schools to have accessible up-to-date information about the local jobs market.

The population of the capital is younger than the rest of the UK, with 63 per cent of Londoners aged under 44, compared to 53 per cent under 44 in the UK in general.

The capital’s young work force is also more international and more highly educated than the anywhere else in the country – more than a third of Londoners were born outside the UK and 40 per cent of London’s working age population holds a Level 4 qualification (equivalent to a certificate of higher education) compared to 30 per cent across the UK.

The report estimates that by 2022, 60 per cent of jobs in London will be at degree level.

Report author Deirdre Hughes said: "There is a clear moral, social and economic purpose to improving careers provision for all young Londoners.

"Support for young people has stalled and most are getting a raw deal. It is not enough to just to pay lip service to careers support for them.

"More young people must be given the chance to gain more experiences of the world of work and be inspired to see possibilities and goals that are worthwhile and relevant to them."

The report also called for career education in primary school, in order to encourage children to think about it at an early age.

Mr Johnsons calls for primary school career education echo those of Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt's in March.

Mr Hunt told a conference in London that Labour would want to encourage more employers to go into schools to talk about careers, saying: "I want them to go into primary schools to talk to pupils – particularly girls in primary schools – so that they broaden their horizons."

Russell Hobby, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, supported the recommendation to start career advice in primary school.

"There is widespread agreement that there's a real benefit in talking to children at an early age about the jobs they might do when they're grown up and how important their primary school learning really is in terms of future opportunities.

"Careers advice shouldn't have to wait until children get to secondary school."