For the first time in years, careers education is improving.
Schools and colleges are continuing to make improvements against the Gatsby Benchmarks of good careers education, helping young people to better prepare for the world of work. A striking feature of that improvement is that progress is strongest in disadvantaged areas.
We have seen significant momentum behind the Careers Strategy as more and more schools and colleges begin to engage and feel the impact of this investment.
Our recently published Spring term report card demonstrates this progress in careers education in England.
It shows that schools and colleges are continuing to make progress against the Gatsby Benchmarks. And it shows that schools and colleges in Careers Hubs – a model we are helping to roll out across the country – are outperforming the national average on each Benchmark.
Having the continued investment from government means we have been able to expand the successful model of Careers Hubs to 20 additional areas in England, covering one in four schools and colleges across the country.
Schools and colleges are taking ownership of their own performance. Eighty percent of them are using Compass, our free online tool to evaluate their careers support for young people.
A motivated workforce of Careers Leaders in schools and colleges is emerging across the country and engaging with support and training. We have awarded bursaries for Careers Leader training to 1,300 schools and colleges and more than 750 Careers Leaders have started our free online training course.
This progress could not have been achieved without the support from employers who are widening the scope for young people to experience and interact with the workplace.
Our Enterprise Adviser Network, co-funded with the Local Enterprise Partnerships, has matched over 2000 business volunteers to schools or colleges to help them develop their careers education plans.
We have also built a network of over 100 Cornerstone Employers who have committed to working with schools and colleges in areas of need of support including the government’s Opportunity Areas and Careers Hubs. These are a combination of national and local businesses, large and small, who are working collectively to ensure young people in an area have the opportunities they need to be prepared and inspired for the world of work.
This backing from business is imperative.
More than half a million young people have already benefitted from employer encounters enabled through our investment funds – and this is crucial because we know that young people who get better careers support at school are more likely to fulfill their potential and less likely to be economically inactive in later life.
Most of this funding will be targeted specifically at disadvantaged areas through ‘virtual wallets’ which allows each school or college to tailor the support for their own needs.
Schools and colleges have made huge strides forward since the Careers Strategy was released in 2017. This paved the way for making vast and visible improvements to careers education through investment, support and resources.
We will stay focused on making sure these changes are sustainable for future generations. And thanks to the hard work of schools and colleges, young people will continue to benefit from these changes for years to come.
We know from our recent research that children are forming stereotypes at the age of seven. We also know that they are abandoning their aspirational careers between the ages of nine and thirteen.