Hampshire County Council is to lead an review of careers information provision arrangements for young people in the county, to ensure young people have access to high quality, independent and impartial careers information, advice and guidance.
The move follows a review of further education in the districts of Basingstoke and Deane, East Hampshire, Hart, Rushmoor, Test Valley and Winchester, by the Department for Education (DfE).
Executive Member for Education, Councillor Peter Edgar said: “I am pleased that we were able to play our part in the DfE’s review, which will mean big changes ahead for further education in Hampshire.
“Being asked to take a leading role in developing improvements to careers guidance demonstrates the DfE’s recognition of the high standards we work to and their confidence in our ability to shape advice and guidance that will enable young people to understand the full range of options open to them, helping them to make the right choices.
“As well as collaborating with schools, colleges, and young people of course, we will be sure to take account of the views of Local Enterprise Partnerships and employers. This will help us to gain a good understanding of how well colleges are responding to the challenge of addressing local skills gaps and shortages, as well as the education and training needs of individuals.”
Alongside ensuring colleges are moved on to a stronger financial footing, the purpose of the DfE’s local reviews is to enable the colleges to meet the economic and educational needs of students and employers better.
As a result of the mid and north Hampshire review, changes to further education arrangements in the area have been recommended. The DfE has concluded that six colleges should merge with another organisation; four sixth form colleges should convert to academies; and seven colleges should continue to operate independently.
Further education colleges do not run under the authority of the County Council and any proposed mergers, or conversions to academy status, would be subject to approval by the Secretary of State for Education.