Today (12th December 2022) the Government published a set of recommendations from Sir John Holman which sets out a vision for an ambitious and coherent future for career guidance for young people and adults.
In early 2021, Sir John was appointed as Independent Strategic Advisor for career guidance by the Government and was charged with setting out how to build a strong all-age careers system. The result of his work is a set of nine strategic principles alongside guidance for implementation.
We are particularly pleased to see the principles refer to maintaining the Gatsby Benchmarks at the heart of the Government’s careers strategy, underpinning the careers system for young people in schools and colleges. 84% of schools and colleges are using the Gatsby Benchmarks as a framework to structure their careers provision, and performance has improved dramatically in four years – with institutions on average achieving nearly 5 out of 8 Benchmarks. Achievement of all 8 Benchmarks is associated with a 10% reduction in young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), doubling to a 20% reduction at schools and colleges in deprived areas.
The principles also recommend:
- Creating a clear strategic framework for the entire careers system across government departments, namely the Department for Education (DFE) and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP);
- Retaining existing delivery organisations including the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC), National Careers Service and Jobcentre Plus, but with clearer delineation of responsibilities combined with shared objectives, accountability systems, and branding;
- Charge a single organisation providing strategic support, underpinned by the Gatsby Benchmarks, to oversee all local delivery of careers guidance to young people, including overseeing and quality assuring the work of Local Authorities and their existing statutory responsibility to support NEET young people;
- Focussing National Careers Service support on those already in work to progress in their careers, and co-locating more support within colleges. Conversely, focussing Jobcentre Plus’s remit on those who are out of work or on low pay;
- Developing a ‘single source’ of Government-approved information about occupations and careers. Focussing efforts on creating a common data architecture to underpin the system and ensuring information is up-to-the-minute, including through improved destination data collection; and
- Using Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) to shape local career guidance delivery.
These principles strongly align with Gatsby’s vision for improving career guidance. We are investing in a broad programme of work that seeks to bring this vision of an all-age system into reality. Our work includes:
- Capturing impact and embedding the Gatsby Benchmarks into the heart of school and college practice;
- A programme of research to better understand what good careers guidance for adults looks like, with reference to current national provision and international good practice; and
- Informing the future development of a ‘single source’ of career guidance information by investigating the diversity of Labour Market Information (LMI) sources and the experiences and preferences of young people and practitioners when using LMI;
We look forward to both Government and stakeholders in education using these principles to shape their own work towards an ambitious future. We are keen to discuss our work and what others are doing to support a future career guidance system – if you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.