The Work Foundation is calling on the Government to rethink local authority career service changes

Young people could be left without vital jobs and training support due to changes which are set to be made to the country's local authority careers services, a new report has suggested.

From this month, local councils will no longer have a duty to provide a universal careers service to youngsters, as a result of the Government's Education Act 2011.

Instead, schools will have a duty to ensure that pupils have access to independent careers guidance.

However, they have not been provided with extra funding to carry out this role, it is feared in some quarters.

The report from the Work Foundation raises concerns that many youngsters will be left without adequate support to find jobs and training, and the decision could "compromise the quality and availability" of guidance.

It calls for ministers in the UK to rethink their decision to ensure that careers advice is provided to children from primary school age, so that young people can get sufficient work experience and face-to-face guidance.

Further concerns were raised regarding the ambiguity within the legislation that could see pupils referred to the National Careers Service, which only provides telephone or online advice.

The study said: "Without careers education, careers guidance is reduced to an abrupt and isolated intervention."

It added: "Careers education should be embedded in the curriculum as early as primary school and expanded on with age in an effort to prevent young people from becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later on in life.

"Preventative measures like careers education are preferable for addressing young people at risk of being NEET."

Report co-author Lizzie Crowley, said: "The Government's cuts to careers services are storing up much bigger problems for the future.

"These changes could see growing numbers of young people left without the support they need to effectively navigate their way into the labour market."

The expert concluded: "This is short-termist thinking that will ultimately place a greater burden on the economy as rising numbers of young people find themselves not in education, employment or training."

Copyright Press Association 2012