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Secretary of State announces boost for careers support in 20 areas

Date: 20 May

CEC report the Secretary of State for education has announced the expansion of a successful model helping to transform careers education around the country.  This follows news last year that careers support is improving across England and is now strongest in disadvantaged areas.


Building on success

In September we launched the first 20 ‘Careers Hubs’ across 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. After two terms, schools and colleges which are part of the first wave of Hubs are:


  • Outperforming the national average on every single one of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks of good careers guidance
  • The majority (58%) are providing every student with regular encounters with employers
  • The majority (52%) are providing every student with workplace experiences such as work experience, shadowing or workplace visits

Most striking is that improvements are strongest in disadvantage areas including in Careers Hubs located in Tees Valley, Lancashire, the Black Country and Liverpool City Region.


One in four schools and colleges


The announcement today is for a second wave of 18 new and two expanded Careers Hubs, backed by a further £2.5m investment. Just over 1,300 secondary schools and colleges (around a quarter of those in England) will now benefit from being part of a Careers Hub.


Careers Hubs bring together schools and colleges with employers, universities, training providers and career professionals to improve outcomes for young people, through a relentless focus on best practice.


Schools and colleges will have access to support and funding, including an expert ‘Hub Lead’ to help coordinate activity and build networks, a central fund to support employer engagement activities, and training for a ‘Careers Leader’ in each school and college.


100 employers


Employers are vital to the Hub model’s success, with all Hubs required to demonstrate strong engagement amongst local businesses and a clear plan for increasing employer engagement.


As well as support from the CBI, more than 100 ‘Cornerstone Employers’ across the country have committed to driving and championing all-important connections to the world of work. These include Airbus, KPMG, Anglian Water and GCHQ.


A proven model


The Careers Hubs are based on a model first piloted by the Gatsby Foundation and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) from 2015-17. Schools and colleges in the pilot made rapid progress against the Gatsby Benchmarks, and independent evaluation showed increased attainment and career readiness among students.


Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education, said:

“It is so important that young people get to see and know about a range of different jobs and careers so they can see the possible opportunities out there. Good careers education is such a valuable asset that helps children to explore future possibilities and go on to lead happy rewarding lives.

“Careers Hubs bring together schools, colleges, universities and employers to share their expertise and improve the careers education on offer to make sure young people have the information they need to make the most of their talents.

“Today’s investment will give thousands more young people access to expert careers guidance as they take those first exciting steps into their future.”


Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the CBI, said:
“Employers understand just how important their role is in preparing the next generation for the world of work and their enthusiasm for supporting schools has never being greater. Connecting business and young people is a proven way of improving life chances. Just four employer interactions has a transformative effect, making a pupil five times less likely to be out of work as an adult.


“Firms can sometimes struggle to engage with the schools and colleges that need their support. It’s therefore hugely encouraging to see more Careers Hubs on the way. There is no doubt they will play a pivotal role in helping employers get more involved.”


Claudia Harris, CEO of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “Careers education is improving across the country. The accelerated progress we’re seeing in the first wave of Careers Hubs shows that this model is working and delivering for young people, with schools and colleges in this first wave of Careers Hubs already outperforming the national average across all aspects of careers education.

“We are delighted that the Government’s investment is supporting us to roll out this model to a quarter of schools and colleges in the country, helping more young people get the vital support and opportunities they need.”


Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) were invited to lead bids to establish Careers Hubs, with the applications judged on levels of need in an area and capacity to deliver. All bids were moderated by independent assessors.


The following LEPs were today announced as successful in their bids to establish a Careers Hub:
Black Country
Tees Valley
Leeds (SEND Hub)
West of England
Thames Valley Berkshire
North East x 2
Swindon & Wiltshire
Heart of the South West