The Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) has today appointed Rajay Naik, Director of Government and External Affairs at The Open University, to the newly formed National Council for Careers. The Council will drive excellence in and the development of careers guidance, the National Careers Service and other important policy areas. The Council will bring together experts from business and the careers sector to resolve challenges and recommend reforms in the careers and skills sectors.
Skills Minister John Hayes said: “The National Council for Careers will help to create a new beginning in careers guidance by improving professionalism, forging links with business and ensuring advice reflects the competition and complexity of the labour market.
“I am delighted that a team of experienced and dedicated professionals have agreed to work on this extremely important council which will be at the forefront of transforming careers guidance. The Council includes representatives from across the public, private and third sector, as well as from the careers profession, and with a range of backgrounds including HR, finance and communications.”
Commenting on his appointment, Rajay said: “I am honoured to have been invited to join the new National Council. Boosting employment and skills is paramount if we are to stimulate growth and a strong economic recovery. I look forward to working with colleagues on the Council, Ministers and other partners to ensure that we give all people in society the opportunity to make the most of their talents and abilities. It is imperative that, with the aim of building a stronger and fairer society, we ensure the opportunities of employment and a successful career are open to all.
“I am proud that of our 264,000 students around the world, it is younger Open University students who are the fastest growing cohort. Through our longstanding relationship with the BBC and other innovations, we are extending the opportunities of learning and skills to those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. I look forward to bringing this experience to the Council in our work over the period ahead.”
The Open University has extensive experience working with business to address the skills gap, including a recently launched higher apprenticeship scheme with CapGemini. 70% of OU students study while in employment and our part-time learning model has proved to be successful in delivering flexible, relevant and cost-effective learning.