£2.5m for 20 new ‘Careers Hubs’ to lead excellence in careers support for young people
Rapid improvement in careers support amongst the first wave of Hubs launched last year
24 schools, including special educational needs schools and a Pupil Referral Unit, will be part of the Oxfordshire Hub
Oxfordshire is to become one of 20 new Careers Hubs, following an announcement from the Secretary of State this week. The expansion of the successful hub model follows news last year that careers support is improving across England and is now strongest in disadvantaged areas.
The Oxfordshire Careers Hub will be made up of 24 local schools working together with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals.
Building on success
In September, The Careers & Enterprise Company launched the first 20 ‘Careers Hubs’ across England.
Schools and colleges in this first wave of Careers Hubs are already outperforming the national average across all aspects of careers education nationally. 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
One in four schools and colleges
The announcement 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.
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.
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, including UV Integration in Oxfordshire. Cornerstone Employers work with a specific Hub and underwrite careers provision in these areas.
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.
Rob Shadbolt, Headteacher at lead school Wood Green School in Witney, said: “As a lead school in the Oxfordshire Careers Hub, we are looking forward to sharing good practice and working together with other schools in the Hub to maximise employer engagement opportunities for our students and for young people across Oxfordshire.”
Adrian Lockwood, Chief Executive Officer or cornerstone employer UV Integration Ltd – and OxLEP Deputy Chair – said: “We are delighted that Oxfordshire is to become a Careers Hub. This will strengthen and build on the great work already happening across our county, bringing employers and educators together to help develop an appropriately skilled future workforce.”
Sally Andreou, Skills Hub Manager, said: “Becoming a Careers Hub will bring exciting new opportunities to our schools and businesses. It will enable us to further develop links between employers and educators and contribute to the body of evidence around the success of working collaboratively to achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks.”
The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education, said: “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. 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 support as they take those first exciting steps into their future.”
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.