Nicky Morgan
The Education Secretary plans to create a careers advice company to help pupilsReuters

UK business bodies have backed the Education Secretary's plans to get more business leaders involved in careers advice in schools.

Nicky Morgan announced in the House of Commons that Christine Hodgson, chair of Capgemini UK, will head a new careers and enterprise company for schools.

The organisation will act as an umbrella organisation to help employers, schools and colleges and other organisations navigate their way through the existing landscape.

"Alongside guidance about university and vocational training options, it's vital that our education system opens up young people's horizons to a fulfilling career in business" said Simon Walker, the director general of the Institute of Directors (IoD).

"The Education Secretary is absolutely right to focus on strengthening links between employers and schools. Trust in business has taken a serious knock in recent years, and many young people now see it as a 'dog-eat-dog' world.

"We have to convince them that if they want to change the world of business, they have to get involved.

In addition, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) backed the plan and said every young person should have access to good support and advice.

"Helping schools deliver high-quality careers advice and engage with business is a long-standing priority," said John Cridland, the director-general of the CBI.

"The new careers company has the potential to make a big difference, and we look forward to working with Hodgson and her team.

"Every young person should have access to good support and advice, whatever their background.

"Ultimately, this new body will be a success if it uses its power to look across the country to find and tackle local areas where young people are not getting the support they need."

The body, which is to be given £20m ($31m, €25m) of funding for 2015 and 2016, will provide a vehicle to help other organisations coordinate their activities where appropriate.

The company will not itself be a direct delivery organisation, or act in competition with the many existing providers in the market.

It will focus on young people, initially those aged 12 to 18 and work closely with the National Careers Service, which will continue to support adults and young people and help the company bring employers, schools and colleges together.

The Education Secretary explained that £5m of its funding will constitute an investment fund to support innovation and stimulate good practice across the country.

"I am confident that the plan I have announced today will build on the excellent work that is already going on in some parts of the country - but will ensure it is replicated in every part of the country," Morgan said.

"It will herald a step change in the quality of careers inspiration, advice and guidance provided to all young people - paying no regard to ability, interest or background.

"And it will help to realise our ambition of ensuring every child leaves school or college prepared for life in modern Britain.

"We know that the ultimate success of our long-term economic plan for this country rests on the shoulders of the next generation, and we are backing them every step of the way."