Unison says it is writing to schools to warn them of the possible impact of cuts to the advisory service Careers Wales.
The organisation, which last year employed around 1,000 staff, lost around 100 people to voluntary redundancy in August – and a further 150 are under threat of losing their jobs now.
All six of the Careers Wales advisory centres are in the process of amalgamating into one company, Career Choices Dewis Gyrfa.
Jeff Baker, Unison regional organiser for Careers Wales, said a reduced advisory staff would mean only a fraction of 11 to 16-year-olds receiving a personal interview with advisors.
“The schools will have to prioritise who they want to look after,” he said. “They will also have to make arrangements for work experience – careers companies used to find and visit places in the local area, but all that’s going. In my view, there will be extra pressure on teachers and admin staff – or both.”
Rex Phillips, Wales organiser for teachers’ union NASUWT, said: “There can be no expectation that teachers are going to pick up the work that was historically done by Careers Wales.
“The Welsh government needs to look very closely at what this reduction in service means for schools in Wales and I would expect them to be conducting a workload impact assessment.”
The Welsh government said Careers Wales would continue to offer independent and impartial careers information, advice and guidance to young people in schools.
“Rather than the traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ model of a face-to-face guidance interview, the new service will provide a personalised, ‘differentiated’ offer,” said a spokesman. “Independent careers advice and guidance provided by Careers Wales should not be confused with the delivery of careers education, which has always been a school responsibility.”
He said the future remit for Careers Wales would be finalised within the next month. The new service would include an improved website and a telephone helpline.