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This conference brought stakeholders and policymakers together to examine the provision of careers education, information and guidance in England.
It followed an announcement from the DfE of a new careers guidance scheme for primary school pupils, as well as the new statutory requirement for pupil engagement with technical education routes which is set out in the Skills and Post-16 Education Act.
The conference also took place in light of the recent Ready for the Future report from The Careers & Enterprise Company, which looks at the progress and impact of careers education over the last 12 months, highlighting an emerging consensus on what good careers provision looks like.
It was an opportunity to discuss how best practice procedures outlined in the report can be built upon, as well as key issues with the provision of careers advice in schools, including how best to meet the Gatsby Benchmarks, along with what is needed to effectively implement the new primary school careers programme.
Delegates also examined the role of careers guidance in reducing youth unemployment, and how careers education can be harnessed to promote equality of opportunity and contribute to the Government’s levelling up agenda.
Overall, the agenda included discussion on:
- careers education in schools:
- funding requirements - building capacity for improved services
- integrating advice and guidance into the curriculum
- promoting employer engagement
- what is needed from pedagogy and employers to effectively maintain young people’s increasing awareness of technical routes and options
- priorities for teacher training - promoting consistency of provision across schools and regions
- addressing challenges that schools have faced in meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks
- lessons learnt from the rollout of Careers Hubs
- primary careers programme: next steps for implementation - aligning with secondary careers programmes
- funding: assessing priorities - options for tackling financial challenges - addressing regional differences - identifying where funding is most needed to improve student outcomes
- delivering for pupils:
- providing effective personalised support for students
- tackling inequalities in quality of and access to digital technology - exploring new methods of access and engagement for both pupils and carers
- tailoring support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with SEND
- social mobility: the role of careers guidance in helping develop equality of opportunity - regeneration in the most disadvantaged areas
- quality and standards: priorities for inspection and accountability - the role of Ofsted - engaging external partners, employers and charities - promoting quality - training staff - supplementing career offers
- joining up the careers system:
- developing connections between the careers system, learners, employers and local authorities
- integrating local economic strategies and careers guidance - aligning with national priorities
- tailoring guidance to local needs, skills gaps, growth industries and employment opportunities
- success and performance: what is needed from data collection, metrics and success criteria - effectively monitoring and evaluating the success of careers programmes and strategies
The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from the Cabinet Office; Department for the Economy, NI; DfE; DfT; Department of Education, NI; DWP; HMPPS; Home Office; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government.