From education to employment

State of the Nation: Two million students’ careers boosted by contact with business

More than two million young people are now regularly meeting employers and learning about the world of work, according to new research published by today (20 Sept).

The Careers & Enterprise Company’s State of the Nation report shows the nation’s young people are benefitting from a new world-class approach to careers guidance, supported by growing numbers of employers seeking to engage young people.

The research shows the number of schools and colleges running regular encounters with employers has surged by 70 per cent, from less than a third two years ago (31%) to more than half this year (52%).

More than 150 businesses and 2,000 people from the business community are now part of a network run by the Careers & Enterprise Company, working with schools and colleges to help young people build their employability skills, become better prepared for the world of work and improve their life chances. These include large and small national and local businesses.

Companies backing the approach include:

  • Axa
  • Aviva
  • Rolls Royce
  • BAE Systems
  • E.On
  • KPMG
  • PWC
  • Seddon
  • Bosch
  • Lloyds
  • Marshall Tufflex, and
  • Willmott Dixon

With uncertainty around Brexit and concerns about skills shortages moving rapidly up the business agenda. Employers are achieving a win-win by inspiring young people while helping develop home-grown talent.

In 2017, the government’s Careers Strategy tasked secondary schools and colleges with working towards a new set of international best-practice standards called the Gatsby Benchmarks.

The approach means young people are having real exposure to the labour market as a part of a new and reset approach to careers support. The work brings schools, colleges, business and young people together to work in a new partnership and drive forward improvement locally – and it is reaping results.

Research has shown regular interactions with employers mean young people enjoy greater resilience and self-confidence, spend more time studying, achieve better grades, are less likely to be unemployed and are likely to earn more in later life. This is because of the inspiration, skills, network building and support employers can bring.

After long-standing under-performance, the nation now has a coherent and comprehensive career programme and has led countries like Hong Kong and Spain to look closely at what is being done. England’s model is now exporting to other countries.

The State of the Nation report shows that performance has accelerated over the last year. Across the country, schools and colleges have improved in every aspect of their careers provision.

Lord Agnew 100x100Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System, said: 

“We want to build a Britain that is fit for the future. This report proves that our careers strategy, and the multi-million pound investment behind it, is paying off.

“The strategy sets out a long-term plan to build a world-class system that will help people to choose a career that’s right for them – I’m looking forward to helping schools, colleges and employers build on these successes.”

Claudia Harris 100x100Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said:

”After decades of underperformance, careers education is now improving – fast.  In under five years we’ve moved from something patchy and often low quality to a system recognised as world-class, operating at national scale. 

“Business is at the heart of this new approach, creating real life experiences and opportunities for young people, connecting them to the modern labour market and helping them imagine and plan for their futures.

“We know that regular interactions with employers has a significant long-term impact on young people. They’re less likely to be unemployed, likely to earn more, and get better grades.

“We are delighted with the progress to date and want to see things continue to improve in the years ahead.”

Matthew Fell 100x100Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said: 

“The powerful partnership of business, schools and colleges is succeeding in making a difference to the lives of young people.   

“Employers are always looking for ways to support their local communities and help build the skills of the next generation. This report shows that business is actively supporting this agenda, schools are committed and engaged, and young people are reaping the benefits.”

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