Connexions ‘fails’ to help all young people

Young people are missing out on career and welfare advice due to
Connexions focusing too heavily on helping those who have dropped
out of the system, it has been claimed, writes Amy

College leaders believe that a funding shortage is causing the
Connexions service to concentrate on those who are not in
education, employment or training (NEETS) at the expense of other
young people.

John Tredwell, principal of Worcester sixth form college, said
that the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Connexions partnership is
having its number of information and advice personal advisers for
non-NEETs based in schools and colleges slashed from 48 to 14.5 in
its second year, which begins in September. By comparison the
number of the same type of advisers for NEETs is to be increased
from 28 to 36.5.

“None of us have any objections for resources being focused on
the marginal young people, but it should not be at the expense of
others,” he said.

He points out that numerous government documents outline
Connexions as a universal service when in his view it is not. “If
the government really has the aim of helping the NEETs they have
got to direct more new services to them,” he added.

A spokesperson for the Association of Colleges said there was a
clear sense that a disproportionate allocation of resources to
NEETs “was a common problem” amongst college leaders.

A Connexions spokesperson rejected the claim. “The universal
nature of the service is reflected in the fact that it makes itself
available to young people at all times,” he said.

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