Greater role for The Careers & Enterprise Company in fuelling young people’s futures

The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) have welcomed the Government’s new Careers Strategy. The Strategy announces an expanded role for the Company, 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.

The Careers Strategy announces: “We will use the eight Benchmarks of good career guidance, developed by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, to set a standard of excellence. The CEC will take on a more ambitious role, building on their progress to date by coordinating support for schools and colleges across all the Gatsby Benchmarks.”

The Careers Strategy also announces support for designated ‘Career Leaders’ amongst schools and colleges’ senior leadership, who can 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. The role was also highlighted as one of the factors that correlated with stronger careers performance in the CEC’s “State of the Nation” report, published in October.

The Government has asked the CEC, working with The Gatsby Charitable Foundation, to design the Career Leaders role. In its first two years, the CEC has concentrated effort on offering young people meaningful encounters with employers and the workplace – a key part of the Gatsby benchmarks.

An independent evaluation published on 4 December found 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).

To take its expanded role forward the Company will engage key strategic partners across education, business and the careers sectors and will publish a delivery plan by Spring 2018.

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 relationships we have developed with the Local Enterprise Partnerships, schools, colleges and employers and over the coming months we will share a plan on.”

For more information on the Careers and Enterprise Company visit their website here.

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