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Vocational Guidance

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL10496, tabled on 18 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Careers and Enterprise Company Careers education in England's schools and colleges 2020, published on 12 November; and what plans they have to expand Careers Hubs.

Answered on

1 December 2020

The ‘Careers Education in England’s schools and colleges 2020’ report, published on 12 November by The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC), is a comprehensive assessment of performance across the last 5 years. The report recognises that after years of challenge, government investment is supporting national improvement and making a difference to young people, especially in disadvantaged areas.

The report reviews the position since government established the CEC in 2014 and launched a Careers Strategy in 2017. We expanded the remit of the CEC to support schools and colleges to improve their careers programmes in line with the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance. The benchmarks provide us with a shared vision of what good quality careers guidance for young people looks like.

The report highlights how the 2017 Careers strategy has created real momentum with schools, colleges, employers and careers professionals coming together to improve support for young people. From a standing start in 2015 there are now more than 2,265 schools and colleges (45%) in Careers Hubs, 3,600 business professionals are working as Enterprise Advisers with schools and colleges and Careers Leader roles have been developed in schools and colleges and are becoming a recognised profession.

The report shows that schools and colleges have made sustained progress over the last 5 years. Improvement is evident on every dimension of careers support against each benchmark. Progress has accelerated through the creation of Careers Hubs by 92 per cent (from achieving 2.5 to 4.8 Benchmarks) in 2 years. Early investment in careers programmes to scale up activities in disadvantaged ‘cold spots’ has meant that areas like Blackpool and Burnley in Lancashire and Darlington and Stockton in Tees Valley now rank amongst the highest performing in the country for careers provision.

The COVID-19 outbreak has created huge challenges for the economy, for education and for future opportunities for young people. Careers guidance has an important role to play in our recovery. We have clear evidence and knowledge of what works well in careers support for young people and our ambition is to continue building on that. We will say more about our future plans in the forthcoming further education White Paper.