Guidance Advisers (GA) & Young Persons Advisers (YPA)

What is the role of a Guidance Adviser (GA)?

Guidance Advisers provide targeted services to young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) after they reach the end of Year 11. They also work with some young people who are in the final year of leaving education who are at risk of becoming NEET.

GAs will work to build trust with a young person, to help them to establish goals and aspirations and work out how they can achieve these. GAs are all qualified guidance professionals and have specialist knowledge about the range of opportunities open to young people. Their professional knowledge about careers is also used to help young people understand and plan for long term goals.

Their work is mostly directly with young people but, with the consent of the young person, they will also work together with parents and carers to best support the young person. Ideally, GAs will use a whole family approach in their work with young people as we know that this is the best way to help and support young people.

The involvement of a GA with a young person will depend on their individual circumstances rather than whether or not they have SEN. Some young people with SEN will move on from school with ease and go on to their chosen course and eventually into work, training or other activities. For those young people the involvement of a GA will not be needed. However, some young people with SEN may experience difficulties that mean that, without the involvement of a GA, they will leave school and become NEET. A GA will work with a young person to try to prevent that from happening or, where it does happen, to help the young person to solve it.

If a young person has SEN but does not have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP), the school, college or training provider may seek advice from or make a direct referral to a GA. Where a young person has an EHCP, GAs can provide advice to other professionals, including schools and colleges, on specialist provision that may be required for the young person on leaving school. This advice will usually be requested by the Education, Health and Care Plan Co-ordinator following the Year 10 Annual Transition review. Where schools, colleges or other learning providers or parents and carers feel that specialist provision should be explored and the advice of a GA may be needed, they should discuss this first with their EHCP Co-ordinator.

GAs also play a key role in helping NEET young people with SEN who want to return to training or education by providing advice about EHCPs and helping them to request one where this is needed.

In relation to the above, it is important to be aware that the statutory responsibility for ensuring young people in school or college (including those with SEN) receive independent careers guidance and support with their post 16 transitions, sits with the school or college.

What is the role of a Young Persons Adviser (YPA)

YPAs also provide targeted support to young people who are NEET or at risk of becoming NEET. In the same way as GAs, they work to build trust with a young person with a focus on coaching, mentoring, support with CV writing, help with all aspects of job seeking skills and identifying and referral to opportunities.

How to get a service?

If you are a young person or the parent/carer of a young person who is in learning or training and you think you need the support of a GA or YPA, you should raise this with your school, college or training provider in the first instance.

If you are a young person who is NEET or in work but at risk of becoming NEET, you can contact our helpline on 0344 800 80 22.