Almost 900 additional schools and colleges will join the government’s careers hubs from September as the programme expands with a £2 million injection.
Skills minister Gillian Keegan announced today that the funding for the third wave of the scheme will be shared between 22 local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) across England (list below).
Each area either has or will create its own careers hub to work with a group of 20 or more schools and colleges to train staff to give better careers advice and offer students more “encounters” with employers.
The Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC), which runs the scheme and distributes the funding on behalf of the government, said the allocation of the one-year £2 million funding boost will be dependent on how many schools and colleges are in each hub.
The first 20 careers hubs launched in 2018 and were backed with £5 million, covering 710 schools and colleges. A further 19 opened or expanded in 2019 and were given with £2.5 million as the programme scaled up to cover 1,300 schools and colleges.
The CEC said an additional 882 schools and colleges will join the programme in September 2020 – taking the total to around 2,200, which is nearly half of all state sector schools and colleges. In eleven regions, all schools and colleges will now be covered by a careers hub.
The quango could not name the colleges joining the scheme this September as that detail won’t be submitted by the LEPs until July.
The CEC said the hubs will play a “critical role in supporting local skills development, and as key responses to LEP’s and Mayoral local economic recovery plans” to Covid-19.
They added that the existing hubs have been “at the forefront” of efforts to respond to the initial period of lockdown.
Keegan said: “The expansion of our careers hubs will mean we are now supporting more than 2,200 schools and colleges, bringing them together with employers to provide high quality careers guidance.
“Now, more than ever, it’s vital young people make the most of their talents and are aware of the range of opportunities available. This is brilliant news and I look forward to hearing about the progress made.”
Careers hubs comprise colleges working with local schools and universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to pool their expertise on improving careers education in their area.
They include a “hub lead” who works with school and college leaders to provide “strategic support” on their careers plan and access to business networks, as well their delivery against the Gatsby Benchmarks.
The hubs also have “careers leaders”, who offer face-to-face careers training to schools and colleges.
The CEC said today that hubs have already “accelerated levels of support and improvement in young people’s career development”.
Evidence published by quango in October last year found that two thirds of schools and colleges in hubs ran “regular encounters with employers”, compared with just over a third in schools and colleges outside the network.
Nearly three in five schools and colleges in hubs were also found to run work experience compared to around a third (35 per cent) outside the network, while nearly two thirds of schools and colleges in hubs were “learning about careers direct from the jobs market”, compared with only three in 10 outside the network.
John Yarham, interim chief executive of the CEC said: “Careers Hubs bring people together. They create a powerful partnership between schools, colleges, employers and local agencies focused on improving skills and opportunity for young people, tailored to local need – nationally led, locally developed and delivered.
“This partnership is a critical point of difference from the past and means we are better positioned to weather the storm and help our next generation navigate the choppy waters ahead.
“Schools, colleges and young people have a real time connection to the changing jobs market – opening opportunity in areas that are emerging the strongest and growing the fastest. What this means is we have the opportunity to more closely match real people to real jobs in real time. It is a proven robust and sustainable model for the needs of now and into the future.”
The 22 LEP areas part of the new expansion of careers hubs:
. Black Country
. Coast to Capital
. Cornwall & Isles of Scilly
. East Sussex
. Greater Manchester
. Heart of the SW
. New Anglia
. Sheffield City Region
. Stoke on Trent
. Swindon & Wiltshire
. Tees Valley
. The Marches
. West of England