By Francesca James

It’s a tough time for job hunters in London, with 43 per cent of over fifties and almost a third of 25-49 year olds claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, relying on it for more than a year.

Can providing a good quality career guidance service for adults in the capital help turn these figures around? And can it help those in need of particular support, like people returning to work after maternity leave or a lengthy break, single parents, or disabled people?

The London Assembly Economy Committee today launches a review of adult careers information, advice and guidance in the capital, with a view to identifying any gaps in provision and making recommendations for action by the Mayor and other relevant organisations.

Good careers guidance, provided at any age, should be an effective tool for tackling unemployment, preventing longer term unemployment and addressing sector skills gaps. However, questions have been raised about effectiveness of provision and whether services are sufficiently tailored to different groups.

As part of its investigation, the Committee will look at:

The characteristics of high quality, evidence-based careers guidance services

The current provision of adult careers guidance in London

London-wide opportunities to support adult careers guidance

Andrew Dismore AM, Chair of the London Assembly Economy Committee, said:

“Most of us will be able to remember careers guidance we have received at some point in our lives, but the quality of that advice has never been as important as it is right now in these tough economic times.

“A comprehensive careers guidance service in London could help guide our jobseekers, whatever their age, and go some way to addressing unemployment and skills gaps. We must make sure people are receiving high quality and relevant advice.”