Saturday, August 20, 2022

Greater Lincolnshire granted Careers Hub status by Department for Education

Greater Lincolnshire has been invited to become one of a new wave of Careers Hubs, as announced by the Department for Education and The Careers & Enterprise Company.

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has welcomed the announcement, as local schools and colleges are enrolled onto the Department for Education’s Enterprise Advisor Network programme.

The Greater Lincolnshire Careers Hub will consist of approximately 34 local schools and colleges, working together with local employers such as Lincolnshire Co-op, Triton Knoll, and Bakkavor.

It is the next stage in expansion for the existing Enterprise Adviser Network, which was founded in 2018.

Working as a partnership with schools, colleges, employers, local district councils and other local organisations, Careers Hubs have accelerated levels of support and improvement in young people’s career development nationally.

Schools and colleges will have access to a dedicated Enterprise Coordinator, an expert in the Gatsby Benchmarks and the local labour market. In addition, a new ‘Hub Lead’ will co-ordinate activity and build networks with local businesses. The Careers Hub will be allocated a central fund to support employer engagement activities, and training for a Careers Leader in each school and college.

St Peter and St Paul’s Catholic Voluntary Academy in Lincoln has been working with Lincoln City Football Club and other local businesses as part of the existing network programme.

The school has created a Business Advisory Group, and with support from Alex Nightingale, their Enterprise Coordinator from the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, has run a business mentoring programme for Year 11s, named ‘Adopt-A-Form’.

Speaking about their approach to careers education, Steve Penney from the school said: “We are already seeing great feedback from students and form tutors.

“To have six businesses involved is fantastic. This is already something we are hoping to roll out next year, and by doing this face-to-face next time, we hope to have more meaningful interactions between students and our business partners.”

Damian Froggatt of Lincoln City Football Club is the school’s Enterprise Adviser (EA) and has volunteered his time to improve careers education and activities

“As a former student of the school, I wanted to give something back,” explained Damian.

“Young people will continue to be negatively affected by the pandemic, especially around the subject of mental health, and I wanted to give the students some confidence and reassurance before they leave school. It’s been great to be involved in this initiative and I look forward to supporting the school further in my role.”

Central to the Careers Hub are Enterprise Co-ordinators, individuals employed by the LEP to work closely with schools, colleges and businesses. They are experts in the Gatsby Benchmarks, a framework of Careers Standards set by the Department for Education which help schools and colleges to deliver a high quality careers programme for young people.

Donna Jarvis, Careers Leader at St George’s Academy, Sleaford, added: “Having our Enterprise Co-ordinator on board has been invaluable. She has provided advice, guidance and training and put us in touch with employers that previously we did not work with. It would seriously damage our ability to meet the Gatsby Benchmarks if [the] role did not exist.”

Clare Hughes, Skills Manager at the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “The achievement of Careers Hub status for Greater Lincolnshire is fantastic news, and allows us to pro-actively bolster support for young people with their career decisions and the post-Covid local skills agenda.

“The programme will allow students throughout Greater Lincolnshire to benefit from direct interaction with successful local businesses, giving them a realistic view of what is to come and providing them with pertinent advice from industry professionals. We are delighted to support the programme which will also address any local skills gaps and provide young people with the confidence required to step into the world of work.”

The Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan, explained: “We want young people across the country to receive the best careers advice so they can get a head start in the world of work and go on to have successful careers.

“The expansion of our Careers Hubs will mean we are now supporting more than 2,200 schools and colleges, bringing them together with employers to provide high-quality careers guidance.

“Now, more than ever, it’s vital that young people make the most of their talents and are aware of the range of opportunities available. This is brilliant news and I look forward to hearing about the progress made.”

John Yarham from The Careers & Enterprise Company also added: “Careers Hubs drive accelerated performance in careers education and have proven particularly robust and resilient during the Covid-19 crisis, continuing to support young people in local communities.

“Careers Hubs bring people together. They create a powerful partnership between schools, colleges, employers, and local agencies focused on improving skills and opportunity for young people, tailored to local need – nationally led, locally developed, and delivered.

“This partnership is a critical point of difference from the past and means we are better positioned to weather the storm and help our next generation navigate the choppy waters ahead.

“Schools, colleges and young people have a real-time connection to the changing jobs market, opening opportunity in areas that are emerging the strongest and growing the fastest. We can closely match real people to real jobs in real time. It is a proven robust and sustainable model for the needs of now and into the future.”

Evidence published by The Careers & Enterprise Company in October 2019 showed Careers Hubs accelerated overall careers education progress and performance by 56% in 12 months.

More than 2,200 schools across England will now be in a Careers Hub, which is nearly half of all state sector schools and colleges.

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