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Careers Education Framework launched 8 January 2010

THE Department of Education has launched a new Careers Education Framework for 11-19-year-olds.

The document is the culmination of development work, piloting in schools and consultation with stakeholders over the past 18 months.

The Framework has been drafted by a 10-member working group including representatives of the Department’s secondary schools, the Careers Guidance Service, the Isle of Man College and the Department of Trade and Industry. The group has been chaired by Paul Craine, the Department’s Co-ordinating Adviser for 11-19 Education.

The role of careers education has long been recognized in secondary schools but, until now, there have been no formal guidelines over what careers education should contain or how it should be delivered.

Mr Craine describes the framework as built around three things that young people should be able to do:

• understand themselves and the influences on them (self-development)

• investigate opportunities in learning and work (career exploration)

• manage change and transition (career management).

Mr Craine has expressed the appreciation of the Department of Education for the contributions from the working group members and for the individuals, schools, government officers, trade unions and sector skills groups who responded to the consultation process.

The Framework sets out activities at Key Stages 3 (11 to 14), Key Stage 4 (14 to 16) and post-16 through which these outcomes can be achieved. It does this by providing:

• recommended learning outcomes for careers education

• suggested content for careers education, and

• advice to teachers on the evaluation of careers education programmes that will contribute to continuous improvement.

‘The framework looks at the skills and qualities employers in the Isle of Man are looking for and recognizes that the 11-19 education system must meet the needs of the community and the economy as well as meeting the learning needs of individual students,’ Mr Craine said. ‘However, it must put the best interests of the learner first and is not about recruitment to local firms or sectors, as many of today’s students will go on to take up jobs that don’t yet exist.’

The document recognizes that ‘the demands of working life are changing. Our young people leaving school, college or university are faced with challenges and choices that are, in many ways, very different from those faced by previous generations. Increasing attention needs to be paid to the preparation that our young people receive for the world of work, to enable them to be personally effective, enjoy their working lives and contribute to the community and the economy here or elsewhere’.

According to the Framework ‘many young people need to be encouraged to visualize their future situations and roles. They need to be supported in the development of both their self-awareness and their self-esteem. They need both encouragement and support to raise their aspirations and identify their own ambitions’.

Mr Craine believes: ‘A good careers education programme has a contribution to make to academic achievement as well as to reducing the problem of young school leavers not in education, employment or training.’

The Framework will now be subject to annual reviews.

Copies of the new Framework can be downloaded from


or collected from the Department’s office at St George’s Court, Upper Church Street, Douglas, IM1 2SG.

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