Worcester MP, Robin Walker attended and spoke in the Westminster Hall debate supporting a stronger provision of careers guidance in schools. The debate which took place yesterday, focused on ensuring children in education are aware and confident in their aspirations, to various career opportunities.
Westminster Hall debates give MPs an opportunity to raise local or national issues and receive a response from a government minister.
Having recently returned to the backbenches, Robin is now able to participate in these debates and emphasised the importance of careers advice early on in primary education, to encourage children to pursue the varied and exciting career paths openly available to them. Proudly mentioning the successes of the many primary schools throughout Worcester holding career related days and sessions.
Speaking from the Westminster Hall, Robin said:
“I am excited about the opportunities for young people in my constituency, and I want to make sure that careers advice in our schools engages with the breadth and richness of the opportunities.”
“During my time at the Department for Education, I was pleased to contribute to a White Paper that took forward the argument for having careers advice in all our schools, but particularly in primary schools, as my hon. Friend the Member for Southend West mentioned. It is very important to set those aspirations and open up opportunities for people earlier.”
“Talks were also raised regarding the need for schools to inform pupils on further education routes other than university, such as apprenticeships. Many spoke on the applicable nature of apprenticeships to the working environment, and therefore the necessity in promoting them on an equal level to university degrees.”
Member for Mid Sussex, Mims Davies said:
“On universities—my hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr Walker) and others put this brilliantly—we really have to help those who perhaps feel that there is a stigma about not going to university. We are sending people to university who are potentially wasting their time there and who could be doing something much more productive and beneficial in the local labour market. However, that can be done only based on really strong, good reading skills and digital skills, and while many young people and many of us generally can hide behind our mobile phones and feel that we have digital skills, we simply do not.”
“On good careers advice, the main thing is to give people confidence that it is not about where they start but where they end up. I have enjoyed yoghurt making, selling kitchens, working in Little Chef and selling mobile phones and pagers—remember them? I want to return to the issue of job snobbery, because pubs, restaurants and hospitality are places that we love, and we miss them when they are not open and cannot serve us. When we go on holiday and go abroad, we see how those places are revered. People can progress quickly in that sector. So let us talk about careers as a whole. I will conclude, Ms Rees, as I am sure that time is against us.”