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Careers Strategy for Schools and Colleges Announced
The long awaited Careers Strategy has been unveiled by the apprenticeships and
skills minister, Anne Milton at the Careers Development Institute’s annual
conference this week.
Highlights of the strategy include £4 million to support every school and college to have a careers leader, and a further £5 million funding to develop 20 careers hubs, which will be led by the Careers and Enterprise Company.
The Strategy announces an expanded role for the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC), to act as the strategic coordinating function for supporting schools and colleges’ delivery of careers programmes against all of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s ‘eight benchmarks’. The benchmarks are widely held as the hallmark of excellence in careers and enterprise support. The announcement marks a significant development of the Company’s role and reinforces its position in helping to enhance young people’s futures.
One of the key announcements in the report is the £4 million to ensure that every school and college has a dedicated careers leader in place by the start of the new academic year. These careers leaders will be on, or supported by schools and colleges’ senior leadership and will be able to champion and deliver high quality careers provision for their pupils. The Gatsby Charitable Foundation, Teach First and the Careers Development Institute identify the Career Leaders role to be a critical success factor for schools to deliver high quality careers and enterprise support.
Schools and colleges will also be “expected to publish details of their careers programme for young people and their parents” by September 2018, it said, when Ofsted will also have to “comment in college inspection reports on the careers guidance provided to young people”.
Plans from the same launch date were also announced that are set to involve the CEC launching “a new investment fund of £5 million to support the most disadvantaged pupils”.
The 20 careers hubs will be developed in the areas of the country most in need and will link schools and colleges with local universities and employers to help broaden pupils’ horizons.
In its first two years, the CEC has concentrated effort on offering young people meaningful encounters with employers and the workplace. An independent evaluation published recently finds that the CEC’s Enterprise Adviser Network, which connects local employers to schools and colleges in their area, is already having a strong and positive impact:
- Schools and colleges report engagement with an average of three new
employers since joining the Enterprise Adviser Network.
- On average schools and colleges are now reporting 50% more employer
encounters for their pupils since joining the Network.
- The Company is now working in partnership with all of England’s 38
Local Enterprise Partnerships to deliver the Network in over half of England’s
schools and colleges (over 2,000).
The Enterprise Adviser Network in Cornwall is part funded by the CEC, CIoS LEP and Cornwall Council. Network lead Carrie Holmes said: ‘We are excited by the prospect of the government’s pledge of £4 million to ensure that every school and college has a dedicated careers lead. We understand the importance of having a strategic careers leader in place to help drive the careers strategy forward. The four pillars of the careers strategy are ensuring a “high-quality careers programme” in every college and school; making sure employers “are an integral part of our approach”; making sure everyone can benefit from “tailored support”; and making the most of the “rich sources of information about jobs and careers that exist”, the Enterprise Adviser Network is well placed to assist with these pillars.’
David Barton, Executive Officer of the Cornwall Association of Secondary Headteachers commented: ‘Cornwall's secondary headteachers welcome a national careers strategy that contributes to a fairer society in which all our young people from all backgrounds can realise their potential. There is already a well established network across Cornwall of independent careers advice and guidance, and all schools are linked into the national Careers and Enterprise programmes through a team of local business based enterprise advisors. However, it is not always easy to sustain the very highest quality careers support across a rural area, and so the government's commitment to training and supporting careers leaders in every school is especially welcome.’