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Latest Careers England News – Issue 147
Career professionals recognised in New Year’s Honours
Congratulations to Louise Proctor, Head of the National Careers Service and Christine Hodgson, Chair of The Careers & Enterprise Company, for being awarded honours for their services to careers. It’s great to see individuals in the sector being recognised for their achievements. 

Careers education with the new government
We recently met with the Department for Education along with the CDI and The Careers & Enterprise Company. Informally the DfE say that even though it’s early days, it is clear that the Minister, Lord Agnew, is interested in the careers agenda and wants to make progress. The DfE is setting up a round table meeting for him to meet key partners in the near future.

We spoke about the cessation of ESF and the need for careers support to be a significant element of the new Prosperity Fund. The DfE were in agreement and said they would push this. They will be asking for more funding for careers as part of the Annual Spending Review for 2021/22 and we asked them to review the focus of the NCOP budget and whether the resource that Jobcentre Plus put into schools could be used in a better way. The DfE like the virtual wallet model. 

We encouraged the DfE to get Lord Agnew to ‘talk up’ careers work and the contribution made to social mobility and economic productivity. It would also be helpful if Ofsted would talk about the focus on careers in the inspections they are undertaking. 

On adult careers guidance we lobbied the DfE to build on the good work of the National Careers Service in the development of the National Retraining Service; suggesting that we would be very keen to help develop a National Careers Strategy for adults with the new Government. 

The Sharing Prosperity Fighting Fund
ERSA has been lobbying for a replacement of the European Social Fund. Having launched the UKSPF Sharing Prosperity Report n November and promoting it during the election period, ERSA is asking supporters to donate to further its campaign work. Read more and donate.
Task group information
Our position paper developed by the personal guidance task group is now available online on our website. Please share the paper with your networks.
Look out for our next position paper on employer and community engagement which is currently in development. 
News from across the sector
Proportion of young people in a Saturday jobs halves in 20 years – The Guardian

Revealed: global best and worst at 21st century skills – TES

UK climbs global education rankings but teenagers amongst least satisfied with lives – Independent

LGA: Devolve all skills and apprenticeship funding – TES

Millions of people risk being unemployed or in unsuitable jobs by 2030 – Independent

FE is ‘ticking time bomb’ says college chief – FE Week
Information, consultations and resources
Nesta automation project
Nesta are looking for research participants to interview about automation. They are working with DfE on the national retraining service so this is a good opportunity to showcase work with adult clients. Nesta are looking for people who have either lost jobs to automation or work in industries at risk of being automated, and are particularly interested in hearing from men and people of colour. Research will involve a 20 minute phone call, after which experiences will be written up in an article to be hosted on the Nesta site. For more details or to find out more, contact Emily Reynolds on: emilyoliviareynolds@gmail.com.

Meaningful encounters with the world of work
As coined by Gatsby, it is now widely accepted that encounters with the world of work are vitally important for all young people. A new toolkit from Education and Employers looks at what this means in detail to allow for effective career provision planning.

Exploring worklessness
A new briefing note from the Resolution Foundation – Never Ever – explores the increase in people who have never had a paid job; currently 8.2% of the UK population. The report suggests that earning whilst studying should be encouraged for a healthy labour market. 
Conferences, events and training
IEP Summit – 5th March, London 
The Institute of Employability Professionals Summit 2020 is based on the future of work and covers the emerging labour market and associated delivery challenges. More info and book here.

Free Quality in Careers Standard events
Interested in achieving the Quality in Careers Standard? Find out more via three free events in March. Hear from schools and colleges who have achieved the standard – events taking place in Newcastle, Birmingham and Bristol

National career guidance shows 2020
The National Career Guidance Shows are the only free to attend series of conventions for people passionate about careers and will arm visitors with the resources necessary to support and prepare young people and other job seekers, so that they can make a smooth transition from education, training or unemployment into working life. Visit for free – book your place now.
Impact of New Career Hubs

New Career Hubs are driving accelerated improvement in careers education, improving the job opportunities of young people across the country, according to new research published by the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) today (29 Oct).

Launched only last year, schools and colleges in Career Hubs have seen dramatic improvements in careers education in just 12 months, significantly outstripping schools and colleges that are outside the new careers network.

Careers Hubs are centres of careers education excellence across the country. Established by CEC, there are currently 20 Career Hubs across the country.  They are local partnerships bringing a group of 20 schools and colleges together with business and community organisations to focus on improving outcomes for young people.

Such is their success, a further 20 Hubs have been launched this year meaning 1,300 schools and colleges – a quarter of the state sector – will be part of a Career Hub.

Careers education in schools linked to Hubs is performing better and improving faster than in schools and colleges outside the new careers network.

Key research findings are:

  • 95% higher standard of performance in schools linked to Hubs over schools that are outside the careers network established by CEC.
  • Two third of schools and colleges in Hubs run regular encounters with employers, compared with just over a third (36%) in schools and colleges outside the network
  • Nearly three in five schools and colleges in Hubs run work experience compared to around a third (35%) outside the network
  • Nearly two thirds of schools and colleges in Hubs are learning about careers direct from the jobs market compared with only 3 in 10 schools outside the network.

Key factors in the success of Careers Hubs are they create local networks to share and implement best practice and their foundation in the community, enabling guidance and support to be shaped by local knowledge and expertise

The new approach places regular meetings with employers to learn about the world of work at the centre of careers education.

Examples of good practice are evident across the country. The Tees Valley Hub now has a pool of 600 employers working with the 60 schools and colleges. In Lancashire, Worcester and the Black Country, the proportion of young people meeting an employer every year is now over 70 per cent, an increase of a third in just the last year. In Blackpool it is over 90 per cent.

Regular meetings with business are a proven way for young people to become better prepared for the world of work and improve their career choices and life chances as they move from education into employment.

Career Hubs are delivering a world-class approach to careers education based on a new set of standards known as the Gatsby Benchmarks.

John Yarham 100x100

John Yarham, Interim Chief Executive of The Career & Enterprise Company said:

“Career Hubs are proving a powerful driver of accelerated performance in careers education across the country.

“It is exciting and encouraging to see the difference these new dynamic hubs are starting to have on the life chances and job choices of young people.

“Today’s generation now have the opportunity to be better prepared for and informed about the world of work as they prepare to make the move from education into the employment.

“In just 12 months we seen these new career hubs flourish into centres of excellence, forging powerful partnerships in local communities.  We look forward to fostering their continued development.”

Kay Vaughan, Careers Hub Lead from award winning Lancashire Hub said:

“The new Careers Hub model has helped us build a more strategic approach to careers education for our local community.  It’s encouraged collaboration across a wide range of schools, colleges and employers and helped us all learn and improve together through sharing good practice.

“The Careers Hub has supported a transformation in careers education and enabled us to improve the impact we are having on the ambitions and aspirations of the young people in our community.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

“We want to support all young people to make informed career choices. Careers Hubs are one part of a growing package of support available to schools and colleges to meet the Gatsby Benchmarks of good careers guidance.

“Hubs work within The Careers and Enterprise Company’s existing Enterprise Adviser Network. Through this nearly 2,300 schools and colleges have been matched with a senior business volunteer to build relationships with students and introduce them to career opportunities.

“The network is working: 94% of schools and colleges say they are happy with the support provided.”

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said:

“Councils want to ensure every young person realises their full potential. 

“Two years ago the Government’s Careers Strategy pledged to provide an improved service that supports people of all ages. Instead, careers provision in England is becoming ever more fragmented and complex.

“Too many young people are not receiving the high-quality, impartial and personalised careers advice they deserve and this is a disservice to them. This leaves too many youngsters making unsuitable career decisions, which have a potentially devastating impact on their future.

“Councils are best-placed to tackle this. Devolving careers advice, post-16 and skills budgets and powers to local areas, would allow councils, schools, colleges and employers to work together to improve provision and match young people with employment routes that actually exist within their local communities.”

Career Hubs are a core part of the Government’s Careers Strategy launched in 2017.  Their success shows the money invested in the new approach to careers education is having a real impact – improving the opportunities and life chances of young people – and delivering value for money for taxpayers.

The new approach is delivering significant levels of improvement in performance, standards and results in return for relatively modest levels of investment.

State of the Nation 2019
September 23, 2019

The Careers and Enterprise Company. has published thier State of the Nation 2019 report which provides the most comprehensive assessment of careers education in England. 

The key messages in the report are:

  • Careers Education is improving everywhere. Disadvantaged areas are among the highest performing in the country.
  • Two million young people are now engaging with employers at least once a year.
  • The new Careers Hubs and the Enterprise Adviser Network are delivering accelerated progress.
  • Young peoples’ skills and work readiness are improving.
  • Schools, colleges and business now work together on a national scale.

Download the full report below.


Survey Shows Careers Guidance for Young People has Improved Over the Last Two Years

Careers guidance for young people has improved over the last two years, according to a large-scale survey of schools.

The research points to the successful early establishment of a new cohort of senior ‘Careers Leaders’ with responsibility for driving a whole school approach towards careers support.

The survey of 750 Careers Leaders reveals that they feel positive about the future of careers provision and the impact they’re having on young people, and have the backing of their senior leadership teams.

Previous research from Education & Employers has shown high quality careers support and employer engagement has a positive impact on young people’s gradesemployment prospects and future earnings.

In 2017, the Government’s Careers Strategy set an ambitious plan for every school in England to appoint a named Careers Leaders with ’the energy, commitment and backing from senior leadership’ to deliver a comprehensive careers programme. 

The research – carried out on behalf of The Gatsby Foundation and The Careers & Enterprise Company – represents the first comprehensive survey of Careers Leaders.

It reveals they are overwhelmingly positive about the approach set out in the Careers Strategy and the outcomes for young people:

  • 88% say their role is having a positive impact on young peoples’ outcomes
  • 81% feel positive about the future of careers provision
  • 75% think careers provision has improved since the Careers Strategy

The Careers Strategy called on schools and Careers Leaders to work towards meeting all eight of the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Careers Guidance – a set of standards based on international best practice.

The survey reveals that 94% of Careers Leaders said the Gatsby Benchmarks had helped to improve careers guidance. This follows findings published last year showing schools across the country improving against the Benchmarks.

Careers Leaders are a relatively new part of the school workforce, with two-thirds appointed within the last two school years. But the research finds that school leaders are backing the reforms and their focus on ensuring Careers Leaders are senior or have senior access in schools – 83% of Careers Leaders are either part of their school’s senior leadership team or report directly into senior leadership

The research also finds that Careers Leaders spend twice as much time on careers as ‘careers-coordinators’ did a decade ago, underlining the increased prioritisation of careers by schools.

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, said:

“According to this major survey across 750 schools, Careers leaders are overwhelmingly positive about the direction of careers support in schools. The significance of this lack of cynicism should not be underestimated. They value what they are doing and see the benefits for their students.

“The survey finds that Careers Leaders are in senior positions or report into the SLT, representing a marked shift in the profile of careers to central in school agendas. High quality careers and enterprise support is increasingly being used by schools as a core pillar to ensure excellent long-term outcomes for their students.

“We see it in the progress every day: across the country careers support is improving in schools, and particularly in the most disadvantaged communities. This is down to the commitment of Careers Leaders and the school leaders that back them.”

Sir John Holman, Senior Adviser to the Gatsby Foundation and author of the Good Career Guidance report, said:

“The pilot of the Gatsby Benchmarks in the North East of England showed us that the key success factor is having an effective Careers Leader, with access to the senior leadership of the school or college.

“It is very encouraging to see that schools are truly making this role a priority, and that those in post feel so confident about the future. This research gives valuable insight into how Careers Leaders can be best supported and enabled to do their job, which is critical to the future of every young person in the school.”

The survey was carried out by independent research organisation SQW, on behalf of The Gatsby Foundation and The Careers & Enterprise Company. 750 Careers Leaders responded to the survey, and results were weighted to be representative of schools across the country.

Field work took place between 4th March and 5th April 2019. The survey achieved a response rate of 22% and 750 schools. Responses were weighted be representative of region, type of school and size of school.

Education Secretary Announces £2.5m Boost to Careers Hubs in 20 Areas

The Secretary of State for Education has announced the expansion of a successful model helping to transformDamian Hinds meets pupils benefiting from a Careers Hub in Leicestershirecareers education around the country.

This follows news last year that careers support is improving across England and is now strongest in disadvantaged areas.

Last year, The Careers & Enterprise Company launched the first 20 Careers Hubs accross England. Each Hub brings together a group of up to 40 schools and colleges to improve careers support for young people in their area.

Schools and colleges in this first wave of Careers Hubs are already outperforming the national average across all aspects of careers education. Read more

Halfon Blasts Careers and Enterprise Company for their ‘Magic Money Tree’

The following news article by Billy Camden was published by FEWeek.

The chair of the education select committee has laid into the Careers and Enterprise Company for believing it has a “magic money tree” growing in its garden.

Robert Halfon (pictured) offered the heavy criticism during an event about the future of careers guidance in Parliament this morning.

It followed the organisation’s second hearing with MPs two weeks ago, in which it was the revealed the company spent more than £200,000 on two conferences using its own public money instead of private sponsorship.

The company had also told MPs earlier in the year that it has spent £900,000 on research, with another projected £200,000 a year to come.

Mr Halfon, who’s also a former skills minister, said today that this was an “obscene waste of money” and a “scandalous lack of oversight”Halfon blasts Careers and Enterprise Company for their 'magic money tree'

“My colleagues and I in the education select committee are deeply concerned by what we have learned in two recent hearings,” he said.

“I don’t doubt for a second that the company is passionate about its work, and that there are good people working there. But I’m worried they are not providing us with value for money.

“This body can be ludicrously wasteful. Last year it spent £200,000 of taxpayers in a time austerity on two conferences – money which should have gone to the front-line. One cost around £150,000 and the other was about £50,000 and held at KidZania! Salaries are too high – its CEO earns almost as much as the Prime Minister.

“And it has spent £900,000 on research, with another projected £200,000 a year to come.

“There is a lack of convincing data on its impact. And a lack of data on hard outcomes: like education and training decisions, or employment outcomes.”

Read more

DfE Urged To Launch Independent Review Into Careers And Enterprise Company

Schools Week has reported that the government has been urged to commission an independent review of whether the Careers and Enterprise Company is doing a good job helping poorer students get work experience.


British Youth Council charity, also said Ofsted should inspect provision that is funded by the CEC to check on its quality.

The organisation, which came under fire from MPs in May for spending almost £1 million on research and not frontline careers advice, is set to face the education select committee for a second time on Wednesday.

Now, the ‘Realising the potential of work experience’ report, which reviewed 50 submissions of written evidence and two days of oral evidence, has warned of the “patchy and unequal nature” of students’ access to work experience. Read more

‘Good Career Guidance’ Handbook

All schools will have recently received a copy of Good Career Guidance: Reaching the Gatsby Benchmarks. 

This handbook was created by the Gatsby Foundation, and contains stories and learnings from their successful two-year pilot of the Benchmarks in the North East of England, to help assist a school’s journey to adopting the Benchmarks.

For more information on the pilot and the Benchmarks click here

Winners of The Careers & Enterprise Company Annual Awards 2018

This month the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) celebrated the work of schools, colleges, businesses, and careers professionals with its annual awards ceremony for 2018.

Over 200 nominations were accepted for the nine categories and the winners were chosen by a panel of independent expert judges.

“Across the country schools and colleges are making progress towards world class careers support as laid out by the Gatsby benchmarks. Just last month Ofsted remarked on the improvement across England,” Claudia Harris, chief executive of the CEC, said.

“Our award winners provide further inspiration for schools and colleges designing their careers offer and seeking to provide their students with the best possible start to their working lives.”

Three finalists in each category were whittled down to one overall winner, with the champions announced in a ceremony at the CEC annual conference today at Newbury Racecourse in Berkshire. Read more

The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit & the matrix Standard

This toolkit for Enterprise Advisers and Enterprise Coordinators illustrates what good looks like across all eight of the Gatsby benchmarks. It includes example case studies of best practice and useful tips and resources.

The toolkit will assist Enterprise Advisers and Enterprise Coordinators in promoting to schools how the benchmarks will help all students reach their full potential. It also contains practical ways for schools to put the benchmarks into practice. 

Page 34 – Top Tips for Schools under Benchmark 8 states Make sure the organisation you are commissioning is high-quality and matrix accredited. 

Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit – Full Document