DfE publishes Minister Halfon’s response to the Sir John Holman Review


Sir John Holman set out nine strategic principles and recommendations for government. Minister Halfon has formally thanked Sir John Holman 12/12/22 for his sterling work reviewing England’s careers support system:

“High quality careers guidance is essential to connect people to opportunity,
regardless of background, and equip them with the support they need to climb the ladder of opportunity. You have set out a compelling vision for a careers system that will ensure both young people and adults have strong careers advice which supports their aspirations and reflects both local and national labour market need.
I welcome your recommendations and will consider them carefully as part of ongoing work to develop the future careers guidance system in England for all ages. The department will publish more information on future plans in due course.

SJH – Strategic Principle 1
Government’s collective careers guidance activities should be underpinned by a public strategic framework, which provides overarching direction, priorities and objectives for careers services and is underpinned by a common taxonomy, information and data architecture.

SJH Strategic Principle 2
For young people in education DfE should continue to delegate the delivery of careers activity to schools and colleges, with a single organisation providing support and challenge. Consideration must be given to the most appropriate body to support 16- and 17-year-olds that are not participating in education or training.

SJH Strategic Principles 3 and 4
For adults (18 and over), DfE’s focus should be on adults in work, helping them into successful long-term careers (or series of careers), by supporting them to gain better education, training and skills. The relationship between adult careers advisers and local colleges should be strengthened.
DWP should provide careers information and guidance to people who are out of work or in low paid work in order to move more of this group away from universal credit and into good jobs as a priority – but the objectives and incentives of the short-term jobs support and longer-term
careers advice should be complementary, not competitive.

SJH Strategic Principle 5
For both young people and adults, government should have robust procedures to assure the quality of delivery of careers guidance.

SJH Strategic Principles 6 and 7
Information about occupations and careers should be based on a single source of government-assured information and data which is transparent, accessible to all users and third parties, and up to the minute. It should be accessible in different formats by different demographics and include information on the skills needs of employers and the economy,
both locally and nationally.
The single information source should make it possible for people, and their advisers, to see the connection between skills needs (local and national) and the opportunities available to them to acquire those skills through publicly funded training. Local skills needs should reflect the local skills improvement plan.

SJH Strategic Principle 8
There should be a balance between meeting local needs and national needs. Careers guidance should be clearly aligned with Local Skills Improvement Plans and co-ordinated with relevant devolved authorities. FE Colleges should be a core part of ensuring local careers and skills needs are met.


Strategic Principle 9
All those who may need or want to use government’s careers guidance offer need to understand what is available and how they can access it. The careers guidance offer needs to be clearly communicated, and to support this, all government’s careers offers should be delivered under a common branding.

Personally, I am very grateful to Sir John Holman and colleagues in the Department for Education (DfE) for keeping the spotlight on careers support for young people and adults in England. Looking forward to a new Careers Strategy in 2023 led by Minister Halfon who has significant experience of and commitment to career education, information, advice and guidance.