North East LEP Skills Director Michelle Rainbow explains how a new initiative will transform careers guidance for the next generation.
We recently received the news that the North East has been selected to host a prestigious Careers Hub dedicated to improving careers education for young people.
This is fantastic news for the region and for our young people; this achievement is an important milestone on the road to giving every child access to the very best careers education.
The ‘North East Ambition: Careers Hub’ will support schools and colleges in the North East to implement and achieve the eight Gatsby Career Benchmarks – the clearly defined framework for ‘Good Career Guidance’ which was successfully piloted in schools in the North East before being rolled out across the country as part of the Government’s Careers Strategy.
We’ll be delivering the new Hub in partnership with colleagues at The Careers & Enterprise Company and this North East Hub will be a national leader, supporting 20 other Hubs nationwide to deliver the Gatsby Career Benchmarks in schools and colleges across the country.
Here in the North East, the Hub will comprise of 40 secondary schools with a separate Hub servicing 10 colleges, including all nine Further Education colleges in the North East and one sixth form college.
Schools and colleges enrolled in the Hubs will work with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to improve careers education. They will be supported by a Hub Lead and Enterprise Coordinators who will help coordinate activity and build networks. They will also be able to access a Central Hub Fund, equivalent to around £1k per school or college, with additional support available, including access to training for career leaders and enhanced employer encounters.
Not only will our region be home to the lead Hub nationally, but the North East is the only region in England to host a dedicated Hub for colleges.
Like the Gatsby Careers Benchmarks, these Careers Hubs form a central part of the Government’s Careers Strategy which was published in December and it’s a recognition of our track record of working with schools and colleges to deliver outstanding careers guidance that the North East has been chosen as the location for the lead Hub.
Both Hubs will be intrinsic to the North East LEP’s skills initiative, North East Ambition, through which we aim to make sure that each and every student in the region is given access to high quality careers education, and that all secondary schools and colleges in the region are achieving the Gatsby Career Benchmarks by 2024.
The potential of the North East Ambition: Careers Hub to have a positive impact on the lives and future careers of young people is huge. We’re not only working to secure a skilled workforce to take the North East economy into a bright future, we’re also working to make a real change to the lives and prospects of young people who are currently learning and preparing for their future careers.
The North East Ambition: Careers Hub will go live in September and will build on what we have already achieved through the North East pilot of the Gatsby Career Benchmarks.
We have great support from the schools, colleges, universities, training providers and employers in the region and I’m confident that we can work together to make a real difference to the prospects of young people here in the North East.