Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 16:20 UK

MP demands careers advice in schools from age 12

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Comprehensive careers advice should be given to young people from the age of 12 to help address the country's "serious" skills gap, Liberal Democrat MP Gordon Birtwistle has said.

Introducing his bill to the Commons on 23 October 2012, Mr Birtwistle told MPs that he believed careers advice was currently "given too late to students" and "not given enough importance".

It was mostly delivered voluntarily by teachers and although it might be done with "some vigour" they might not understand the businesses in the areas where the schools were based, he argued.

Mr Birtwistle's proposed bill would require schools, together with local businesses and other sectors, to provide a comprehensive careers advice service to 12 to 16-year-olds.

He said: "What I would like to see happen is that each school has a dedicated member of staff who is qualified and experienced in careers advice."

His Careers Advice in Schools for 12 to 16-Year-Olds Bill, which received cross-party support, was given an unopposed first reading, but is unlikely to become law without government support.

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