News story

Careers guidance for modern country unveiled

Tailored advice will be at the heart of a new Careers Strategy designed to make sure young people have the skills they need and employers want post-Brexit.

Anne Milton speaking at CDI conference

Every school and college in the country will aim to have a dedicated careers leader in place by the start of the new school year – backed by £4million of funding – who can give advice on the best training routes and up-to-date information on the jobs market, helping young people make decisions about their future.

The plan will also boost careers support in the areas of the country most in need, with £5million funding to create 20 careers hubs across the country that will link schools and colleges with local universities and employers to help broaden pupils’ horizons.

The Strategy – developed in partnership with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and co-ordinated through an expanded role for the Careers and Enterprise Company – will help young people choose the career that is right for them, alongside the £500million investment in new T levels to deliver a world-class technical education system on par with the high-quality academic routes available.

It is part of the government’s commitment to make sure people have the skills they need to get on in life and help build a Britain that is fit for the future.

Launching the strategy at the Careers Development Institute (CDI) annual conference in Birmingham, Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

Without access to the best possible careers support, some people will miss out on the opportunities available.

They will continue to be held back if they don’t have the right advice, at the right time to make informed decisions about their future, or may not have access to the broader experiences and role models to help them develop as people.

It matters to me that we give people from all backgrounds the best possible preparation to move into a job, or training that enables them – whatever their background or wherever they live – to have a fulfilling life.

The announcement follows the launch of the government’s Industrial Strategy which sets out a long term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK. The Careers Strategy will include:

Dedicated careers leaders

We will aim for every school and college to have a dedicated careers leader, with £4 million to provide training and support for at least 500 schools and colleges, so they can give the most up-to-date advice and fully prepare young people for the world of work.

Quality interactions between schools and businesses

Secondary schools will be expected to provide pupils with at least one meaningful interaction with businesses every year, with a particular focus on employers from Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) industries to help deliver the high-skilled workers we need in these industries.

Careers hubs to be set up across the country

To support young people in the most disadvantaged areas, £5million funding will develop 20 careers hubs, led by the Careers and Enterprise Company. Hubs will link together schools, colleges, universities and local businesses to broaden the aspirations of young people.

Trials of careers activities in primary schools

Backed by £2million, these pilots will test out ways of engaging children from an early age on the wealth of careers available to them, helping to raise their aspirations. These trials will focus on some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country through the government’s Opportunity Areas programme.

Specialist advice for long-term unemployed and those with additional needs

The National Careers Service will provide access to specialist support for adults who need it most, ensuring that we help create opportunities for everyone, no matter where they live or their background.

The Gatsby Charitable Foundation has set out eight clear benchmarks for schools and colleges on good careers advice. The strategy puts employers at the centre of the careers programme, ensuring young people receive tailored advice about the training routes and work experience needed to secure a successful career in the future.

Sir John Holman, Senior Advisor to the Gatsby Foundation and author of the Gatsby Career Benchmark report said:

Good Career Guidance is the key to social mobility. For young people coming from a background of low socioeconomic aspirations, school career guidance is their best hope of charting the way to a rewarding future career. We now know, from our international study and from the work of career guidance experts, what makes for good career guidance: it is described by the eight Gatsby benchmarks which have been shown in the pilot in the North East of England to have such a powerful positive effect in schools and colleges. I am very pleased that the Department for Education has put these benchmarks at the heart of its strategy.

For the first time, schools and colleges have a clear description of what they need to do get good career guidance for each and every student, whatever their needs. Employers can equally clearly see the important part they play in a single coherent framework. The schools and colleges in Gatsby’s pilot have shown that an essential part of success lies in leadership at the school level, and I am pleased to see that DfE has acknowledged this and has committed to a programme to identify the role of Career Leaders and to help to train them.

With new technical training routes coming from 2020, and with Brexit making it more important than ever to develop home-grown skills, this is an auspicious moment at which to launch this imaginative and pragmatic strategy.

The Careers and Enterprise Company will support schools and colleges to meet these benchmarks and Ofsted will hold schools and colleges to account for the careers provision they offer pupils.

Claudia Harris, CEO of the Careers & Enterprise Company says:

We welcome the Careers Strategy and its adoption of The Gatsby Charitable Foundation Benchmarks, widely recognised as the hallmark of best practice in careers and enterprise provision. We are delighted we have been asked to play an expanded role, operating as the backbone organisation coordinating efforts across these benchmarks. We also welcome the focus on Careers Leadership in schools which organisations including Teach First, The CDI and The Gatsby Charitable Foundation have highlighted as key to successful careers support. We are grateful for the strong partnerships we have developed with the Local Enterprise Partnerships, schools, colleges and employers and over the coming months we will share a plan on how we will collectively take forward the recommendations in the Strategy.

All this careers information will be brought together on one website, to be launched by the National Careers Service next year, to support people just starting out on a new career path, or those who want to re-skill or upskill. It will feature more than 800 job profiles developed with industry experts and a comprehensive list of training courses available.

Russell Hobby, chief executive of education charity Teach First, said:

The changing global economy and technological advances mean the world of work is evolving at a rapid pace. More than ever young people need support to make informed choices about their futures. But schools haven’t always been able to deliver this support to a consistently high standard. And it is often pupils in low income communities who miss out most on the help they need. We welcome the Government’s careers strategy, particularly the commitment to training and supporting careers leaders in schools, and we hope this reaches the schools and pupils most in need. This is something we have called for to allow schools to support every pupil to fulfil their potential, regardless of their background.

Published 4 December 2017