Much has been achieved in the decade since Gatsby’s Founder, David Sainsbury, first asked Sir John Holman to describe what world class careers guidance looks like. During this time, we have seen impressive innovation in careers activities from schools, colleges, and employers and the Benchmarks are now embedded at the heart of the careers system. 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. During 2023 we conducted a programme of stakeholder engagement, consultation, and research, including working closely with Government officials. We will publish our findings in full in a report in late 2024.

The publication of the Benchmarks, alongside the commitment of schools and colleges, has already led to the largest improvement in career guidance for young people in a generation. Millions more young people are benefitting from rich experiences with employers and there is growing evidence that implementing the Benchmarks increases career readiness and improves destination outcomes, particularly for those in the most disadvantaged circumstances.

The stability, clarity and ambition offered by the framework of the Benchmarks has been critical for schools and colleges. The consistency that schools and colleges now have in language and approach to careers provision has meant that meaningful and measurable improvements can be made in a systemic way. They are the golden thread that binds the entire system together.

The progress we have seen has been underpinned by a strong infrastructure of Careers Hubs, Cornerstone Employers, online resources, and a vibrant career guidance community. This sits alongside a growing cadre of trained and committed Careers Leaders. We are hugely encouraged by the work of schools and colleges across the country and the impact that this is having on young people.

However, over the last 10 years there has also been significant changes in education and the labour market. The time is right to reflect on these changes and capture the experiences of schools and colleges and their implementation of the Benchmarks.

Following the publication of Sir John Holman’s recommendations to government on the future of the careers system, Gatsby is also looking ahead to the next ten years of Good Career Guidance for young people in England. We are keen understand how schools and colleges have implemented the benchmarks, explore innovations in practice and unpick challenges that still remain.

We are therefore embarking on a programme of research, open consultation and stakeholder engagement to assess what, if any, refinement might be needed to ensure that the impact of the Gatsby Benchmarks continues for the next decade.

Evidence Review and Consultation

Our work on this project involves a significant programme of stakeholder engagement, consultation, and research which began in 2023. This includes an open consultation, a literature and evidence review, and roundtables and expert interviews with practitioners and stakeholders across the sector.

Our academic research partner is the International Centre for Guidance Studies at the University of Derby.

In November 2023 we issued an update on this work, based on interim findings from an open online consultation from spring 2023, which received over 1,200 responses from education and business stakeholders. You can read the update here.

We will publish our findings in full in a report in late 2024.

The Original Pilot of Benchmarks (2015-2017)

The 8 Benchmarks for Good Career Guidance were tested in a pilot in the North East of England. More information about this pilot and its findings can be explored here.

The Original Good Career Guidance Report (2014)

In 2014 Lord David Sainsbury asked Sir John Holman to identify what characterised high quality careers provision. The findings of this research were published on the Good Career Guidance Report (2014)

To stay informed about our work in this area, please email to be added to our stakeholder communications list.