Unpicking the new careers strategy

Monday 4th December saw the launch of the long awaited #careersstrategy from @educationgovuk to support schools in raising young people’s career aspirations. The strategy forms part of government’s plans to improve social mobility with the clear-cut objective of ensuring quality, consistent, tailored advice for all.

Here at Hopscotch, we’re pleased to see clear adoption of the Gatsby Foundation’s 8 Benchmarks and will watch with interest the expanded brief for The Careers & Enterprise Company.

Highlights from the strategy include;

1. Simplifying the technical career path through the distinctive T levels and apprenticeships offering and the importance of communicating this offering to parents.

2. Employer partnerships are at the heart of the strategy with the aim of ensuring effective outcomes through exposure to a breadth of roles and insight into the workplace of the future, which schools alone cannot be expected to achieve.

3. Investing in a Careers Leader role for every school is crucial, the importance of this role cannot be underestimated, we hope that this role will be encompassed within the SLT to ensure that school-wide buy-in of outstanding careers advice becomes the norm in order to have a real impact on students.

4. The strategy will also implement a trial to establish best practice for introducing careers activities to primary schools.

5. Universities will be asked to do more to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds make good use of their careers services. 

6. A CEC Enterprise Adviser to be available to all secondary schools and colleagues. The government will also fund 20 careers hubs supported by the Careers and Enterprise company who in turn will have a broader role across all the Gatsby Benchmarks.

At Hopscotch we’re absolutely clear on the importance of delivering careers insight to primary age students. Careers stereotyping from a role (think ‘uniformed’ careers) and gender perspective starts worryingly early and we’ve been working with John Lewis through Bringing Skills to Life to engage younger students with the wide range of roles open to them within a dynamic retailer setting.

Our wide-ranging STEM content also aims to inspire younger students by dispelling myths and opening minds to the incredibly diverse and exciting range of roles which fall under the broad-brush of engineering.

Building self-confidence, self-esteem, and delivering contextualised learning are all core to raising aspirations, as we’ve seen through our continued involvement in LifeSkills created with Barclays; helping students understand and value their skills is the first step to broadening horizons and onto employability.

In terms of implementing the strategy, from January 2018 schools will need to use the Gatsby Benchmarks to improve their provisions and Ofsted will report on careers guidance delivered to young people in colleges.

By September 2018 a named Careers Leader should be in place in every school and college, where details of the establishments careers programme must be published, this goes so far as being an amendment to the School Information Regulations.

We’re looking forward to the opportunities the new strategy presents in enabling businesses to have a greater role in supporting schools through the delivery of engaging education content, raising aspirations and broadening horizons.

Delivering positive, inspiring educational opportunities is at the heart of our work at Hopscotch and we look forward to helping more employers deliver against the strategy.

About the author

Tiffany Barwick

Tiffany has over 20 years’ experience in education, marketing and behaviour change. She oversees client services, agency partnerships and our role on the CCS Framework. She has managed high profile campaigns in both private and public sector include LifeSkills created with Barclays, THINK! Road Safety for DfT. She is immensely proud of the role Hopscotch plays in creating impact in education.

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