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HETA lobbies MP with call for action on careers support

14th July 2016

HETA highlighted the importance of improving employability advice and skills as part of the government’s new careers framework during a visit to the Hull site by Graham Stuart MP.

Iain Elliott, Chief Executive of HETA, also discussed plans for changes to the apprenticeship system during his meeting with Mr Stuart, who is MP for Beverley and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Careers Information, Advice and Guidance.

Mr Stuart, who has since been appointed as an Assistant Whip, said: 

HETA does vital work in promoting and providing training opportunities for young people in Hull and the East Riding and I greatly enjoyed my visit to the company.  The government is working hard to improve the quality of careers information, advice and guidance available to young people and organisations like HETA set the standard we need to see across the country.

Iain Elliott and Malcolm Joslin, chair of the HETA board of trustees, said their ongoing dealings with employers highlighted a number of concerns.

Iain said: 

In education we are doing a really good job of confusing parents with every change that comes through. Parents need to understand what’s available for their kids.

Malcolm added: 

Information on careers advice is still very patchy in schools. When we have young people coming to HETA and applying to do an apprenticeship I ask what inspired them and they will almost always say it was a member of their family. It is rare to find people who were advised to come here by their careers teacher.
There are still not enough girls coming through into engineering. I thought that was changing. I really thought the tide had started to turn and it is very disappointing. There is still anecdotal evidence that girls at school are getting advice to work in travel and tourism or to be a hairdresser. Girls don’t have to come to work looking like a bloke. They can turn up looking like a woman and still do engineering.

Iain said strong links with business are vital, particularly in shaping the proposed changes to apprenticeships.

He said:

There are a range of changes being made to how we deliver and fund apprentice programmes and we are still waiting for clarity and what the impact of these changes will mean.

Apprentices are being asked to work to the new standard without knowing how they will be assessed, and there is a complete lack of clarity around the levy. If it is not implemented properly and employers are being asked to pay too much they won’t get the opportunities, we will disadvantage young people and we won’t improve the skills the country needs.

We were delighted to get the opportunity to meet Graham, to show him what we do and to tell him what we are hearing from employers and we would welcome the opportunity to host visits by other MPs.