Now council axes careers advice service

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A CAREERS advice service is being cut by East Sussex County Council.

Connexions, which provides support, information and advice for young people, is due to be axed at the end of the academic year.

The cut comes as part of the £20 million worth of savings the council’s Children’s Services department needs to make from this year’s budget.

A council spokesperson said, “These savings will equate to more than 15 per cent our budget.

“Put simply this means we do not have the money we need to carry on providing all the services for young people and families that we currently deliver.

“Therefore, we have had to carry out a fundamental review of all the services we provide.

“Our priority has been to protect, wherever possible, services for the most vulnerable children and families. However, the scale of the savings we are having to find means we have had to make some very difficult decisions about which services we can continue to provide.”

But Eastbourne parent Mary Christchurch, whose son has benefited from careers advice from Connexions advisors, says the council should be ‘safeguarding the future development of our children and our community’.

Ms Christchurch said, “What will happen to our young people who don’t have this expert knowledge to guide them through options available to them?

“I feel it is so important that young people can access impartial careers advice that presents them with options and help them realise their potential.”

Ms Christchurch said parents should have been consulted over the plans because she is concerned about the future of careers advice for school children in Eastbourne. However, the council hopes schools will help to support pupils in the decision making process.

The council spokesperson added, “We will continue to provide most advice services for young people until the end of the academic year. Thereafter we will only have funding to support young people with learning difficulties and provide one to one personal adviser support for the most vulnerable. “