0-19: Connexions split up said to be on the cards

The Connexions service is facing a major revamp under proposals to
be published in the Youth Green Paper expected at the end of


The £450m a year advocacy, guidance and careers service for
young people is likely to have its funding transferred to schools,
colleges and children’s trusts, it has been suggested by sources
close to government.


The service was launched in 2001 as a one-stop-shop for teenagers,
offering advice on education, careers and personal issues such as
health, relationships and housing, in a bid to cut the number of
disaffected youths.


Connexions announced recently that it had exceeded its target on
reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or
training by 10%, having achieved a 14% cut nationally.


But some critics say it has concentrated too heavily on targeting
support for socially excluded young people at the expense of its
remit to offer careers guidance for all teenagers.


John Dunford, head of the Secondary Heads Association, said that
Connexions was “doing a good job” with disaffected young people. He
said he would like to see that part of its work – using the same
staff – transferred to children’s trusts under the management of
councils. He said the funding for careers advice should go to
schools and colleges so they could buy independent careers guidance
from outside and provide careers education in schools. Dunford
added: “We don’t need Connexions as a separate body.”


Carolyn Caldwell, executive director of the National Association of
Connexions Partnerships, said has found it difficult to get any
official view on what will be in the Green Paper. She said: “If
they are seriously thinking of dismantling Connexions and running
careers advice and guidance, we don’t know any organisations that
think it is a good idea. Young people want an impartial service
that is holistic and not stigmatising. That is the whole point of
Connexions – that is what it was set up to do.”

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