The careers service is currently provided by Greater Merseyside Connexions Partnership (GMCP) which employs fully qualified, experienced careers professionals and is one of the highest performing providers in the country.
Now the councils are inviting tenders for providing a careers service, but on the basis of cutting funding by a half and specifying that significantly fewer careers advisers will be employed in the future. In Liverpool staff numbers will be cut from 42 to 23, in Halton from 15 to 3, in Wirral from 31 to 20 and in Knowsley the number of Professional advisers will be cut from 6 to 3.
Moreover, the councils’ decision to seek to avoid TUPE employment protections will mean that the experienced staff who currently provide the service stand to lose their jobs, and their skills and knowledge will be lost.
Andrew McGregor, Careers Adviser and UNISON Steward, said:
“Quality careers advice and guidance provides ladders of opportunity for young people. Careers advisers are advocates for young people and provide essential brokerage with business, colleges and workplace training providers. Young people have to make incredibly important decisions about their futures, and they need easily accessible, reliable information.”
“The service is a successful one and it is tragic that it could be dismantled to save money. At a time when youth unemployment is at its highest level since John Major was in government, our young people cannot afford this cut.”
Paula Williams UNISON North West Regional Organiser said:
“It is crazy to be throwing careers advisers onto the dole when there is so much work for them to do in helping our unemployed young people. Young people are taking a terrible hammering by this government, with its abolition of Education Maintenance Allowance, tripling of tuition fees, talk of ending Housing Benefit for under-25s and the dismantling of careers services.”
“We sincerely hope the that the local authorities will reconsider their proposals to cut the service.”