Further education students have the right to expect "informed supportive and timely careers guidance" according to the 1993 Further Education Charter.
Implementing that target for students in Wales is the aim of a consultation paper, Careers, Education and Guidance, just published by Welsh Office minister Rod Richards. Its intention is to improve the quality of careers advice by passing legislation to strengthen the existing partnership between colleges, schools and the careers service.
This can be achieved, the Welsh Office believes, through formal policy statements and service agreements.
The first of these will expect colleges to publish action plans on careers education. These would cover, for example, the subject's place in the curriculum; how the topic is managed in individual institutions; links with local industry and the relationship with careers officers.
The latter will be featured in more depth in the formal agreement that each college will be expected to sign with the careers service.
The agreement will guarantee careers officers access to college premises and will allow students to be withdrawn from classes for careers interviews.
The careers service will be made available to all students age 16 to 19 both before and during their college careers. Students with special needs attending colleges will receive this support until they are aged 25. Colleges have until July 31 to respond to the Welsh Office' proposals.