In a year of unexpected events and momentous change, it is my sad duty to report that very little changed during 2016 in the world of career planning.

I wrote in December 2015 about the fundamental mis-alignment of the vested interests and stakeholders within the careers world; and I’m certainly not aware of anything from the last 12 months to alter that view.

I would love to be corrected (so please get in touch if you think I’ve missed something!)

The situation was pretty well summed up by the final series of “Fresh Meat”, except it felt a bit too close to the bone to be all-out comedy.

Employers continue to be dissatisfied by levels of work-readiness, the majority of those trying to break into employment continue to experience sub-optimal returns in the job market, and the education system continues it’s relentless focus on academic specialism.

I hate sounding negative about it, but it really is remarkably similar to the same situation last year.

There were some highpoints in the year. I got to know more about the work of YEUK, and their position as the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Youth Employment. If you’re affected by the inadequacies of your career advice within Education, you could do worse than investigate the access this organisation has to the various departments within Whitehall. Politicians are paid to listen to you, after all.

The highpoint in the bizenko year was the experience we had working with offenders in prison. It’s a simple and telling observation……… within our education system, the incentives and performance metrics relate to the attainment of (mostly academic) qualifications. Within the prison service the incentives and performance metrics relate to reducing re-offending which is often best done by securing meaningful employment.

Qualifications do not equal employment. Therefore, we have to end the total dominance academic performance has on the education system (not replace, just re-balance!) Sadly, this penny has yet to drop in the minds of most policy makers in Whitehall.

Here’s hoping something changes in 2017.  Happy New Year!