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Our careers service simply isn't up to the job

Published 28/08/2015

In the Belfast Telegraph (August 8), the head of the DEL careers service Frances O'Hara said she had a team of qualified advisers on hand to help students in relation to their results. DEL minister Stephen Farry and other careers service officials also reiterated this through media outlets in relation to A-level and GCSE results.

As a parent of an A-level student, I did not find it very professional that her careers adviser was unavailable, and the one I did speak with gave the wrong advice.

There were no advisers at the school on the day of the results, and when I contacted the careers service to make an appointment they informed me my daughter's adviser was on holiday and would not be back until September.

I found this amazing given that my daughter required immediate advice since her grades were not sufficient to get a place on her chosen university course, due to places being cut by DEL funding.

I spoke with another DEL careers adviser and explained. He advised my daughter to repeat two A-levels in languages at Belfast Met College. Unfortunately, upon calling them, we were told they don't offer her subjects.

In seven years at school my daughter received only a single 20-minute interview with the careers adviser in Year 12, and the only action point listed on a summary sheet was to "research the internet for careers she might want to consider". Not exactly great value for money from an organisation with a £6m budget.

Minister Farry would be better off scrapping his careers service and using the money to fund more university places.

sh

Comber

Belfast Telegraph

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