Dorset LEP welcomes new Careers Strategy

Dorset LEP has welcomed the Government’s new Careers Strategy.

The Strategy announces an expanded role for the Careers and Enterprise Company, to act as the strategic coordinating function for supporting schools and colleges’ delivery of careers programmes against all of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s ‘eight benchmarks’. 

The benchmarks are widely held as the hallmark of excellence in careers and enterprise support. The announcement marks a significant development of the Company’s role and reinforces its position in helping to enhance young people’s futures.

Dorset LEP is working in partnership with the Careers and Enterprise Company to develop the Dorset Enterprise Adviser Network to create powerful, lasting connections between local businesses and the schools and colleges in their area.

The Dorset Enterprise Adviser Network is intended to inspire and motivate young people and support them to make informed choices about their future.  Over 35 secondary schools, special schools, learning centres and colleges, plus 25 business volunteers have now signed up to the Network.

A recent independent evaluation has found that the CEC’s Enterprise Adviser Network scheme is already having a strong and positive impact nationally:

  • Schools and colleges report engagement with an average of three new employers since joining the Enterprise Adviser Network.
  • On average schools and colleges are now reporting 50% more employer encounters for their pupils since joining the Network.

The Careers Strategy also announces support for designated ‘Career Leaders’ amongst schools and colleges’ senior leadership, who can champion and deliver high quality careers provision for their pupils. The Gatsby Charitable Foundation, Teach First and the Careers Development Institute identify the Career Leaders role to be a critical success factor for schools to deliver high quality careers and enterprise support. The role was also highlighted as one of the factors that correlated with stronger careers performance in the CEC’s “State of the Nation” report, published in October. The Government has asked the CEC, working with The Gatsby Charitable Foundation, to design the Career Leaders role.

Lorna Carver, Dorset LEP Director, said: “One of Dorset LEP’s key priorities is to upskill our future workforce to meet the needs of employers.  We are pleased to see within the new Careers Strategy an expanded role for the Careers and Enterprise Company and looking forward to working more closely with them to help raise the aspirations, employability and entrepreneurial capability of Dorset’s young people.”

Claudia Harris, CEO of the Careers & Enterprise Company said:

“We welcome the Careers Strategy and its adoption of The Gatsby Charitable Foundation Benchmarks, widely recognised as the hallmark of best practice in careers and enterprise provision. We are delighted we have been asked to play an expanded role, operating as the backbone organisation coordinating efforts across these benchmarks. We also welcome the focus on Careers Leadership in schools which organisations including Teach First, The CDI and The Gatsby Charitable Foundation have highlighted as key to successful careers support.

We are grateful for the strong relationships we have developed with the Local Enterprise Partnerships, schools, colleges and employers and over the coming months we will share a plan on how we will collectively take forward the recommendations in the Strategy.”

 The Careers Strategy is available here

About the Careers & Enterprise Company: The Careers & Enterprise Company was set up by Government in 2015 to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. Its role is to be the national network that connects schools and colleges, employers and careers programme providers to create high-impact careers opportunities for young people.

The Dorset Enterprise Adviser Network enables high calibre volunteers to work directly with senior leadership teams in secondary schools and colleges to support more effective connection to the world of work and develop, shape or add value to the school or college’s careers, enterprise and employer engagement strategy.

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