As confidence in the business and professional services sectors reach a fifteen-year high, and numbers employed show the fastest rate of growth since November 2007, young people need access to in-depth career guidance to avoid being left behind, says the Financial & Legal Skills Partnership.

The Confederation of British Industry’s quarterly Service Sector Survey reported that the business and professional services sector, which includes accountancy and legal firms, saw business volumes rise at their fastest pace since November 2007. Children’s charity Barnardo’s produced a separate report on the state of England’s careers provision, revealing that these services are not reaching young people.

Liz Field, CEO of the Financial & Legal Skills Partnership, says, “For young people to realise their future potential in sustainable employment, we must make sure they can easily access impartial, actionable careers advice, both in schools and through industry sectors. The correct advice, given at the right time, can open many doors for young people who may struggle to find ways into work beside traditional university routes.”

The Financial & Legal Skills Partnership proactively supports the development of a skilled workforce in the UK’s financial services, finance, accountancy and legal sectors. ‘Directions’ is a one-stop shop for up-to-date, expert information on careers in the finance sector. Information on careers and routes into the Legal sector is currently in development and is due to be launched next month.

Liz Field says, “Young people have concerns about their futures. We must make sure they can access all the tools and quality information they need to take the right steps for a rewarding and fulfilling career.

There is a breadth of entry points into a career in the finance, legal, accountancy and financial services, whether approached straight from formal education or after working in another industry.”

Her comments follow Barnardo’s call on the Government to revamp online careers guidance services so they are higher quality and better promoted amongst young people, and to guarantee face-to-face careers guidance for all young people who ask for it. In its ‘Helping the inbetweeners’ report, the charity revealed that young people report they can’t use the government’s remote online schemes – or don’t even know they exist.

Liz Field says, “In the finance and legal sectors, we work hard to ensure young people can access information on planning a career in the sector. That can include work experience, school leaver programmes, apprenticeships and graduate schemes such as the FLSP’s ‘GetInGetOn’ e-mentoring hub.  Directions isn’t just online – we also run a range of regional events for students and careers advisers and deliver careers workshops out in schools to promote the sector.”

According to the Confederation of British Industry data, numbers employed showed the fastest rate of growth since November 2007, with further growth in headcount expected in the next three months. Firms are expecting to expand their business to the greatest extent since February 2006.

Liz Field concludes, “Accessible, practical career guidance will encourage and motivate young people to embark on viable, exciting learning alternatives, and start on the path of a fulfilling career. The sector will benefit from fresh young talent that will help forge renewed UK economic growth.”

The Financial & Legal Skills Partnership is an industry partnership and also a UK Government-licensed skills organisation that works across the UK’s financial and legal services, finance and accountancy sectors.