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Education and Employment

Question for Department for Education

UIN 5417, tabled on 19 May 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department is taking steps to (a) encourage (i) the voluntary sector and (ii) all employers to support his Department's role in the levelling up agenda; and (b) to support schools to enable young people to (i) make greater connections between their academic studies and the labour market and (ii) learn about the skills they need and potential career paths directly from employers.

Answered on

27 May 2022

Levelling up is at the heart of the agenda to build back better after the pandemic and to deliver for every part of the UK.  The department’s focus is on levelling up differences in the quantity and quality of human capital between different parts of the country. To tackle our levelling up challenge we are looking to support children and young people at every level, from support for families and childcare, through to university, and to develop skills throughout life.

The reforms set out in the Skills[1], Schools[2] and Levelling Up[3] White Papers will transform lives by giving everyone the chance to fulfil their true potential.

The department has engaged with a range of stakeholders to develop these reforms, which include reconfiguring the skills system to give employers a leading role in delivering the reforms and influencing the system to generate the skills they need to grow.

Careers guidance is an essential underpinning to these reforms, connecting people to opportunity and equipping them with the support they need to succeed. This is critical both for unlocking individual potential and for boosting the long-term economic prosperity of this country.

To support schools and young people, the department is investing £29 million this year for The Careers & Enterprise Company to support schools and colleges to implement the Gatsby Benchmarks, which describe what good practice in careers guidance looks like. This is part of a total of over £92 million investment in careers guidance for the financial year 2022/23.

Careers Hubs are local partnerships between schools, colleges, businesses, providers, and the voluntary sector, which enable the sharing of best practice to enhance careers provision. Over 3,250 (65%) schools, special schools and college institutions are part of a Careers Hub, meaning 2.3 million students are benefitting from the Careers Hub Network which is accelerating the quality of careers provision.. As the department works towards full rollout, this will increase to approximately 4,500 (90%) school and college institutions benefiting from the Careers Hub Network by August 2023.

Through the Enterprise Adviser Network, around 3,750 business professionals are working as Enterprise Advisers with schools and colleges. to strengthen careers strategies and employer engagement plans.

The Careers Leader role becoming recognised and empowered owing to over 2050 Careers Leaders receiving a fully funded training bursary by March 2022.

[1] Department for Education (2021) Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth.

[2] Department for Education (2022) Opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers for your child.

[3] Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (2022) Levelling Up the United Kingdom.