The government has announced the names of 19 areas that will join its careers hubs programme, but they will split just half the amount of money handed out in the first round.

Damian Hinds, the education secretary, said today that £2.5 million will go to 19 local enterprise partnerships across England. Between them they will form 20 “careers hubs”, which will each work with up to 40 schools and colleges to train staff to give better careers advice and offer pupils more “encounters” with employers.

Each area will have one careers hub except the north east, which will have two.

It takes the total number of areas involved in the programme to 39 and the total number of schools and colleges involved to 1,300. Last July, Hinds announced that the first 20 areas would split £5 million in funding. It is not known why the amount on offer has been reduced for the second round.

The Careers and Enterprise Company, which runs the careers hubs scheme and distributes the funding on behalf of the government, has also reported “rapid improvement in careers support” in the first wave of 20 hubs, with progress strongest in disadvantaged areas. The project has also received the backing of the Confederation of British Industry.

“It is so important that young people get to know about a range of different jobs and careers so they can see the possible opportunities out there,” Hinds said today.

“Good careers education is such a valuable asset that helps children to explore future possibilities and go on to lead happy rewarding lives.”

He said the hubs would bring to 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.”

The CEC said today that schools and colleges involved in the first round of careers hubs are now outperforming the national average on every single one of the eight Gatsby benchmarks of good careers guidance, which are used by the government to rate schools’ performance on careers.

Of those involved, 58 per cent are providing every student with “regular encounters with employers”, while 52 per cent are providing every student with experiences such as work experience, shadowing or workplace visits.

The improvements were strongest in the Tees Valley, Lancashire, the Black Country and Liverpool City Region, three of the most deprived areas in the first wave, the CEC said.

Claudia Harris, chief executive of the company, said it was proof that 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.”

The CEC was criticised last month after FE Week’s sister paper FE Week revealed the quango will no longer become self-sustaining, as was originally promised when it was set-up by former education secretary Nicky Morgan.


The 19 areas in the second wave

Black Country


Tees Valley



West of England


Thames Valley Berkshire

North East x 2


Swindon & Wiltshire



Heart of the South West







The 20 areas in the first wave

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly


Leeds City Region

Black Country

York, North Yorkshire and East Riding


Swindon & Wiltshire

Stoke & Staffordshire

The Solent

West of England

Buckinghamshire Thames Valley

Greater Manchester

The South East (East Sussex)

Leicester & Leicestershire

Heart of South West (Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay)


Tees Valley


Liverpool City Region

New Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk)

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One comment

  1. Deirdre Hughes

    It is very clear more needs to be done across England to urgently improve young people’s access to impartial career guidance. Which would serve young people (parents and employers) best? (A) direct funding to schools to help meet their statutory duties for careers provision at a time of a major funding crisis OR (B) distributed decreased level of funding via a quango. Schools and colleges involved earlier in the Gatsby Benchmark pilots in the N.East region received £9k direct funding and access to a £150k innovation fund! Why was this “evidence-based” model not replicated across England?