Japan looks to the Gatsby Benchmarks to improve careers guidance for young people

17 May 2024 Rob Cremona

On 11 April Gatsby welcomed a delegation from the Japanese careers education organisation ASKNET, as part of a visit to learn more about the English careers education system.

Japan looks to the Gatsby Benchmarks to improve careers guidance for young people

Led by ASKNET Representative Director Kazuo Yamamoto, the group of career coordinators and other experts from across Japan was facilitated and translated by representatives from the Japanese non-profit ETIC.

ASKNET has been inspired by the Gatsby Benchmarks framework and is developing an equivalent framework for the Japanese education system. This will also consist of eight Benchmarks, retaining many of the key themes including: the need to position careers as a core part of education in each institution; contact time with employers; and personal guidance. The Gatsby careers team reviewed a draft version of these Benchmarks, with feedback emphasising the need for language that is accessible to all types of stakeholders, including employers and policy makers, and ensuring that progress against each Benchmark can be measured.

It was encouraging to see that ASKNET have also considered other themes which have emerged in good careers practice in English schools and colleges, including: how students can best be supported to prepare for, and reflect on, the careers experiences they take part in; and how records of participation can accompany a student as they get older, to inform the tailored support they receive.

The group also discussed the careers infrastructure which supports schools and colleges to achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks, including Careers Hubs, the Compass+ evaluation tool, and trained Careers Leaders. Following the meeting at Gatsby, ASKNET’s itinerary included visits to the Careers & Enterprise Company and West London Careers Hub to cover these topics in greater detail.

ASKNET is the latest in a growing list of international governments and organisations who have shown interest in the Gatsby Benchmarks and, in many cases, are adopting and adapting the Benchmarks for their own context. This includes the Fundación Bertelsmann in Spain, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Berlin, Germany, and conversations with stakeholders from Norway, Iceland and the United Arab Emirates. We send our thanks to ASKNET for their insights and enthusiasm and we wish you all the best for the further development of a set of Benchmarks for careers education in Japan.

This international interest is timely as Gatsby takes stock of all the changes in education and the labour market over the decade since the Benchmarks were first published, and considers refinements the framework to safeguard its impact for the next decade.

If you would like to be kept up to date on the progress of this work, please email to be added to our stakeholder mailing list.

Japan looks to the Gatsby Benchmarks to improve careers guidance for young people