Every young person needs good career guidance to make informed decisions about their future. Good career guidance is a necessity for social mobility: those young people without significant social capital or home support to draw upon have the most to gain from a strong career guidance system.
Yet, despite its importance, career guidance in this country has previously been criticised for being inconsistent and patchy. With the current transformation of technical education in England ensuring high quality technical pathways into rewarding career options, it is vital that good career guidance is embedded in education, so that young people will be better equipped to take their next step.
In 2013, Gatsby commissioned Sir John Holman to set out what career guidance in England would be like if it were good by international standards, resulting in the Good Career Guidance report. The eight Gatsby Benchmarks defined in the report serve as a framework for world-class careers provision and have been adopted as part of the Government's Careers Strategy, statutory guidance for schools and guidance for colleges. In addition, The Careers & Enterprise Company now supports the implementation of the Benchmarks in education with a national network of support, resources and targeted funding.
Since the initial pilot of the Benchmarks in the North East of England, we have sought to assess their effectiveness through research. This includes a four-year evaluation by the University of Derby, published in 2021, which found achievement of the Benchmarks had a positive impact on students' career readiness and GCSE attainment.
The eight Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance are:
1. A stable careers programme
2. Learning from career and labour market information
3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
5. Encounters with employers and employees
6. Experiences of workplaces
7. Encounters with further and higher education
8. Personal guidance
Click here to explore each Benchmark in detail.
Following consultation with colleges across England, the Benchmarks were modified to specifically align with the needs of young people in colleges.
As we look ahead to the next ten years of Good Career Guidance, we are embarking on a programme of analysis to ensure our work continues to deliver the greatest impact for all young people. Throughout 2023 we will conduct a programme of stakeholder engagement, consultation and research, including working closely with Government officials, with the results published in late 2024. You can find out more here.