A fresh approach to careers guidance

Online careers resource provides job information at the touch of a button

A free careers software is about to change the way careers guidance is carried out in schools and at home.

Start, developed by careers guidance company U-Explore, provides access to comprehensive information for teachers, parents and students. Designed to help young people connect ideas, interests and aspirations to jobs and educational pathways, Start offers independent, impartial and innovative careers support.

Schools have always had a duty to prepare young people for life and their career, but since 2011 the responsibility to provide careers guidance has become wholly the schools’. Inevitably this means that teachers are looking for help to ensure that they provide their students with the best possible start in life and the information they need to make better choices.

Following the recent higher education White Paper and research commissioned by the Education and Employers charity revealing that giving teenage students careers talks could add up to £2,000 on to their salaries by the time they reach their mid-twenties, the value of good careers guidance has never been more evident.

Tristram Hooley, Professor of Career Education and Head of iCeGS at Derby University commented:

“Young people need to actively manage their careers if they are going to get the most out of life. Start is an exciting new tool which can help young people to make better choices about qualifications while they are at school and to build the skills that they need for their post-school lives.

“One of the key advantages that Start offers schools is that it can provide them with information about the way students are engaging with their careers. This can help them to improve their career guidance programmes and potentially provide information that may inform the development of the whole local education and employment system.”

At the heart of the Start software is a job bank which includes more than 1,600 jobs providing detailed information on the qualifications required, typical salaries and the user’s own suitability for the role. Linked to this is live market information, showing open opportunities in the student’s locality, enabling young people to get a real indication of the current labour market and job availability.

As the name suggests, Start enables a young person to begin anywhere; a favourite subject; an area of interest; a place to study; or a job aspiration. Users create a personal profile based on their qualities, skills and work preferences and the unique profiling technology matches them to jobs which correspond to their personality.

Andy Pickles, CEO of Start creators U-Explore said:

“There is no higher priority than ensuring a young person can make an informed decision about their future, but all too often other subjects take preference ahead of careers guidance in schools. Whilst we don’t believe this is right, we understand why it’s happening and as such we have done something about it.

“Start is free because we want all young people to have access to good careers information, regardless of limited school budgets. It’s also been designed to be accessible at home with parents, should the curriculum limit the amount of time in school available for careers guidance.”

Start can be accessed in and out of schools by teachers, parents and young people. Visit www.startprofile.com for more information.

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