Press release

New careers and enterprise company for schools

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Employer-backed body to provide inspiration and education to pupils.

Young people repairing an aeroplane

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced the creation of a new careers and enterprise company for schools, to transform the provision of careers education and advice for young people and inspire them about the opportunities offered by the world of work.

The new company is designed to support the government’s long-term economic plan by helping young people consider all the options available to them when they leave school and ensure they leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain. The government is determined that schools, colleges and employers should work in partnership to spread outstanding careers advice, guidance and inspiration to every young person across the country, regardless of their background or location.

Nicky Morgan also announced that the current Chair of Capgemini UK, Christine Hodgson, has agreed to chair the new company which will be employer-led and independent of government. Ms Hodgson has a strong track record of developing young talent at Capgemini, where she has embraced apprentices as a source of future talent and made interactions with schools a priority. She is also on the Business in the Community board of Trustee Directors and a board member for MacIntyre Care, a leading charity providing services for individuals with learning disabilities.

The careers and enterprise company will focus on young people aged 12 to 18, helping them access the best advice and inspiration about the world of work by encouraging greater collaboration between schools and colleges and employers.

It will help to broker relationships between employers on one hand and schools and colleges on the other. This will ensure employers are supporting young people with decision-making and career development at every stage of school life. The brokerage arrangement will enable employers to talk directly to pupils about the opportunities available and ensure they are able to consider all the options as they move through school.

The need for greater support and brokerage in this area has emerged following extensive discussions with teacher representatives, employers and business organisations involved in careers advice and inspiration.

The government has also published new research and announced it will proceed with measures that will give students more information on the outcomes of previous students, including what they earn following their course, to help them make informed decisions about their future.

Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan said:

Our plan for education has already transformed standards in our schools, giving every young person the chance to master the basics and focusing on raising standards in the key academic subjects that universities and employers value the most.

But mastering the basics is just the start. I am clear that schools and colleges have a broader role to play in preparing young people for adult life.

That’s why the new careers and enterprise company will encourage greater collaboration between employers and schools, helping schools and colleges access a wealth of experience to inspire young people about the possibilities of the world of work.

This will benefit young people across the country and ensure they leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain. We know that the ultimate success of our long-term economic plan for this country rests on their shoulders and we are backing them every step of the way.

The company will run a £5 million investment fund to support and generate innovation in careers advice.

The announcement of the new body comes alongside news that prospective further education students are to be given access to new and detailed data showing the employment, earnings and learning progression of previous learners.

This will enable learners and employers to make informed choices about the best courses for them and where to invest time and money. These measures follow a recent public consultation on how success is measured in further education. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has published experimental data that shows how many learners went into further learning or employment, how many progressed in learning and what students went on to earn.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

Employers are best placed to inspire our young people into the world of work. The new company will play a vital role in creating that bridge between businesses and schools and inspire young people with exciting career prospects.

For too long, careers advice in schools has been patchy and too dependent on individual teachers having the right knowledge and expertise, with employers often finding that school leavers don’t have the necessary skills or training. The company will put careers advice on a proper footing and ensure young people get the right advice to make the best choices.

The experimental earnings data published today provides estimates of the earnings of learners up to 3 years after achieving a further education qualification and shows that average earnings of an advanced apprenticeship in engineering increased from £24,800 1 year after study to £30,300 3 years after study. The government is keen to extend this in future and, through the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Bill, is working to be able to publish the same linked earnings and employment data for higher education as well. This will be transformative in helping young people make well-informed choices and take courses that maximise their chances of future job success.

The government has also pulled together millions of pieces of data including records of learners and their related employment, earnings and benefits records to show the value of a further education qualification. The research shows that the average earnings of a person who achieves a level 2 apprenticeship is 11% higher 3 to 5 years after qualifying than someone who starts the qualification but does not achieve it. These benefits are seen across a range of areas and sectors, with those achieving in construction seeing 16% higher average earnings and those qualifying in hair and beauty seeing average earnings 8% higher.

Joe Billington, Director of National Careers Service, said:

Young people making decisions about their first steps in working life need inspirational information and advice to help them succeed.

The National Careers Service looks forward to working closely with the new careers company as an integral part of the offer of inspirational opportunities that the new company will co-ordinate and enhance and will ensure strong synergies through membership of the company’s advisory group.

The National Careers Service will also continue to deliver high-quality careers advice and guidance to young people through telephone and digital services to help young people plan their route to their first steps in the world of work.

Ashok Vaswani, Chief Executive, Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking said:

We fully support the creation of an employer backed body to improve collaboration between schools and businesses. As a major employer we recognise how vital it is to equip young people with the skills and experience they need to transition to work. Closing the gap that exists between what businesses want and the skills young people have is crucial to inspire the next generation and is fundamental to the competitiveness of the UK.

We launched our LifeSkills programme as we recognised the important role we have in working with education providers to help prepare young people for work. Today’s announcement aligns with our policy recommendations which have been based on the insights we have gained from running the programme and working closely with educators and business. This report highlights the clear demand for additional focus on employability and careers advice within education and so we welcome the progress that has been made.

Lord Young, the Prime Minister’s Enterprise Adviser, whose report ‘Enterprise for all’, which the government has accepted, welcomed the careers company announcement.

Lord Young said:

I am pleased that the careers company will be taking forward work to develop Enterprise Advisers for schools and an Enterprise Passport which will offer young people the skills employers demand and the confidence and motivation to succeed in life.

The key role of the new company will be to forge strong partnerships between schools, colleges, employers and other organisations to ensure the best advice and inspirational opportunities are being offered.

The new body will:

  • provide advice to schools and colleges, helping them choose effective careers organisations to partner with, through a local network of advisors
  • assist in breaking down perceived barriers between schools and colleges and employers - private, public and third sector - and increasing the level of employer input in careers provision
  • map the extent of engagement between schools and employers across the country and stimulate more activity in areas where evidence suggests it is needed
  • develop a system which motivates young people to take part in activities to build their employability, through the development of the Enterprise Passport recommended by Lord Young - the passport is a digital record of all extra-curricular and enterprise-related activities that students take part in
  • provide feedback to government on how well young people are being prepared for work
  • administer a £5 million investment fund to support innovation and stimulate good practice

Christine Hodgson, Chair of Capgemini UK, will be supported during the set-up of the organisation by an advisory board of employers and other stakeholders.

A report published today by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has identified 40 ‘Careers of the future’ that offer some of the best opportunities in the near future and that will play an important role in the economy. The report sees UKCES identify some of the best opportunities for tomorrow’s jobseekers, with careers ranging from train driver to business development manager. The report will be an important tool in helping young people choose the career they want and to identify the skills and training they need.

In April the government published new guidance to ensure employers play a greater role in school careers advice. This guidance requires schools to offer a range of support including mentoring, inspirational speakers and workplace visits.

Notes to editors

  1. Today’s announcement of the careers and enterprise company also supports the government’s acceptance of Lord Young’s recommendations in Enterprise for All - the relevance of enterprise in education, published in June 2014, which includes proposals to embed a stronger approach to enterprise and entrepreneurship throughout a young person’s education. This includes an Enterprise Passport, Enterprise Advisers and the publication of future earnings and employment records for all further and higher education courses, to enable young people to identify and make future choices about academic and vocation learning.
  2. The new company will be solely focused on driving up the quality and availability of careers advice, guidance and inspiration for young people. It will not itself be a direct delivery organisation. It will work closely with the National Careers Service, which will continue to support young people directly through its helpline and website and to help the company bring employers, schools and colleges together though its local brokerage role. The National Careers Service will also remain the mainstay of the government’s offer for adults.
  3. The new company is expected to be fully operational in spring 2015, after the board has been established.
  4. Securing independent careers advice for all pupils is a statutory requirement, and DfE will be will be reinforcing this, as well as further improving guidance to schools on careers.
  5. DfE is also making it easier to access their choices for further education and training, by introducing a national database covering all types of 16 to 18 courses from September 2015, which in turn will support the creation of on-line portals which present course information in a user-friendly format.
  6. Ultimately the outcomes based success measures will form part of the government’s performance management of the post-19 education and skills sector. BIS will consult on this further in 2015 so as to ensure that a new accountability framework is fair and straightforward.
  7. We will publish a plan and timetable for developing and publishing the measures following the consultation on the detail of a new minimum standards framework in 2015.
  8. We have today published new experimental data relating to learner earnings ahead of the publication of a further tranche of experimental destinations data for 2011 to 2012 learners in 2015. This updates the earnings and destinations data published earlier this year.
  9. Read the UKCES research report ‘Careers of the future’.
  10. Read ‘Further education: comparing labour market economic benefits from qualifications gained’.
  11. Today also sees the publication of the ‘National Careers Service (NCS) users satisfaction and progression survey’ that shows that 94% of face-to-face and telephone customers believed that the service was good. The National Careers Service satisfaction and progression surveys: 2013 to 2014 report is available to view online here.

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Published 10 December 2014