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Issue:- 19 May 2011


A survey by UNISON, the UK’s largest public service union, reveals a desperate picture of the careers service for young people in England heading for meltdown. A staggering 97.3% of local authorities are set to make cuts to Connexions services this year. Some areas of the country will see their careers service close down completely, with up to 8000 advisers set to lose their jobs nationwide.

The survey also shows that some local authorities are flouting their statutory duties to provide careers guidance, with 50% rated as poor in terms of compliance with statutory duties.

This spells danger for the government’s ultimate aim of establishing an All Age Careers Service by 2012, which will be hindered by a lack of transition planning, and the huge drain of expertise out of the careers service, as well trained Connexions advisers lose their jobs.

Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:- “Youth unemployment has hit a record high, with more than one million young people out of work. But all across the country, the Connexions advisers with the expertise to give young people the help they need, are losing their jobs – this makes no sense. Local authorities have a duty to provide careers services – but these cuts mean many are flouting their responsibilities to young people. The government says it wants to set up an all age careers service by 2012, but young people need help now. The all age service will ultimately suffer from this brain drain, as well-trained Connexions advisers lose their jobs in their droves. We are calling on the government to stand by young people in their hour of greatest need, by showing their support for the Connexions service. Ministers urgently need to reveal the careers budget for schools and instruct local authorities to keep services running, pending transition to the new service.”

The UNISON survey coincides with the Tory-led Education Bill, which lays plans for the all age careers service, currently making its way through parliament. Amendments to protect the careers service have been laid by MPs to be debated at Report Stage on 11 May 2011, in the House of Commons.

as an example, UNISON siad that:- "Merseyside Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral; all these areas, cuts will see the end of school careers guidance services. and Connexions Cheshire & Warrington; the number of careers advisors, community advisors and youth workers in each area has been cut in half."

Serif Invites People in your Region to Participate in World Drawing Day

WITH the aim of achieving one million uploaded drawings, Serif, the award-winning creative software publisher, is inviting everyone in your region to take part in Drawing Day on 4 June 2011. Now in its fourth year, Drawing Day aims to be bigger and better than before. This worldwide challenge, sponsored by Serif, is open to individuals of all ages and abilities.

"Drawing Day is an event aimed at people from all creative backgrounds. The idea is to encourage people to celebrate art by creating a drawing and sharing online. Success will come from word of mouth, so we hope people will tell their friends and family about it and get everyone involved. Whether you are a professional illustrator or enjoy doodling in your spare time, everyone is encouraged to drop everything and draw. In addition to reaching our target of million drawings, we hope to unleash new talent and inspire people to continue to draw afterwards."
says Mick Gow, creator of Drawing Day.

Participants can create a freehand drawing on paper or use a software program to draw artwork digitally. Finished pieces can then be scanned or uploaded directly to a number of participating websites including Facebook, DeviantArt, Flickr and Serif’s dedicated drawing website

Gary Bates, Managing Director at Serif, says:- "Drawing Day is a superb opportunity to get creative, even if you haven’t drawn in years! At Serif, we publish a range of creative software especially designed for those who want to easily and quickly create beautiful artwork and graphics. We are looking forward to seeing what people will produce and hope it inspires those new to drawing to unleash their creativity."

Those looking to create a piece of artwork using a computer are encouraged to download DrawPlus Starter Edition, a free version of Serif’s award-winning drawing and painting software, from:-

"I’m excited that Serif is getting involved with Drawing Day. DrawPlus has some really powerful and intuitive features that can be used to create outstanding results. It will be fantastic to see the DrawPlus community embrace Drawing Day."
said Gow.

For more information about taking part in World Drawing Day go to:-

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