On 11 January 2001,
Wendy Alexander, Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning
announced changes to the structure of the careers service. An
additional £24m was allocated for a new national all-age
Careers Service: Careers Scotland to be set up under Scottish
Enterprise (SE) and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE).
This briefing outlines the current proposals.
In October 1999 a review
of the careers service in Scotland was announced to examine the
whole role of the careers service in the light of changing trends
in education, lifelong learning and the labour market. The committee,
chaired by Barbara Duffner, reported in September 2000 and the
Executive's statement is their response to the Duffner Report.
The Duffner Report
praised the excellent work currently being carried out by the
various strands of the current service, with a high degree of
professionalism being shown by staff. However, it did show the
- Too cluttered with
different providers (often up to 4 agencies operating in one
- Too inflexible to
meet the changing world of work. Often seen as lacking
- up to date information
- Lacking national
strategy, leading to inconsistencies in delivery and content
- Too narrowly focussed.
Needing to encompass wider groups of people than school leavers,
to tie in with the Life Long Learning culture; often seen as
too tied into business needs.
They therefore recommended
that any new service should concentrate on:
- Careers Education
- Careers Guidance
- Enterprise Education
and be impartial, comprehensive,
client-centred, confidential, all-age and coherent.
to be created under the auspices of SE and
HIE to provide a national and local service via their Enterprise
Networks. This service will undertake the jobs of Careers Service
Companies, Adult Guidance Networks, Education Business Partnerships
and Local Learning Partnerships.
Ministerial Joint Venture
Groups (Boards) will be set up within both Scottish Enterprise
and HIE comprising of representatives of the four current providers,
together with all key stakeholders including Local Authority and
Education representatives. This Group would set the overall strategy,
national standards and outcomes as well as monitoring progress
The creation of this
national body will mean the end of private company status and
the return of the service to the public sector.
At local level there
will be a single organisation, working in alignment with the Enterprise
Networks. Local areas will be coterminous with the LECs but receive
their strategy and funding from Careers Scotland. Local
boards would include current providers and local learning agencies,
plus the HE and FE sectors.
Reducing the Clutter
The current 80 organisations
will be reduced to 22 replacing all of the current bodies.
This one-stop-shop will create a more easily accessible service
for clients to use.
The function of the
service will be expanded to create an all-age service, with national
standards and national service guarantees. Impartiality will be
safeguarded because all stakeholders, particularly education interests,
will have a stronger voice.
Since the current Careers
Service Company contracts are due to end on 31 March 2001, negotiations
are currently underway to extend these to 31 March 2002. It is
hoped to transfer functions, funding and all appropriate and relevant
staff to Careers Scotland at that date, when it
will assume responsibility for delivering careers guidance.
From 1 April 2002 all
staff who wish to transfer will become public sector employees
of either SE or HIE. The Executive intends to expand the service
and anticipates increased staffing levels, with no redundancies
at present, although they do accept that major restructuring exercises
such as this could involve changes through time. Staff not wishing
to transfer will have to agree continued employment with their
current employer. However, as functions and funding will have
transferred to Careers Scotland, local organisations are
unlikely to maintain current staffing levels.
Pay and Conditions
All staff who transfer
will do so on their current terms and conditions, although in
the longer term the Enterprise Networks will wish to harmonise
conditions with their
own staff. All staff
will be employees of the Enterprise Networks and will eventually
be subject to their system of annual pay review.
SE and HIE have contributory
pension schemes and it is anticipated that transferred employees
will be covered by these schemes.
Initially the Executive
does not anticipate relocation, although in the longer term changes
could occur. They believe that the new organisation will provide
greater career opportunities and staff may wish to move voluntarily
because of this.
UNISON will be consulted
on all aspects of transfer to the new bodies.
Transition Teams will
consider and oversee aspects of the new organisation, such as
the staffing structure, pension arrangements, etc.
proposals are out for consultation to a wide variety of organisations,
including UNISON, and they require comments by Friday, 9 March
2001. The Education & Lifelong Learning Committee will also
discuss the proposals at an early date.
The Scottish Local
Government Service Group has circulated the relevant documents
to branches, seeking comments and is holding a delegate meeting
at 1.30 on 5th March in Unison House, West Campbell
Street, Glasgow to agree a response to the Executive's proposals
Be aware of developments
in your local area, consult the members concerned and contribute
to the UNISON response.