further & higher education
primary & secondary education

Online Conference: Careers Education – Preparing Young People for the World of Work

further & higher education

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 16:30

Thursday 15 October 2020

Online Conference (Zoom)

Coronavirus Update: Please note that due to Covid-19 and social distancing guidelines, this Conference will run as an event online, though Zoom.


This Careers Education event will provide participants with an opportunity to understand how to develop effective careers education in secondary schools and in further education, particularly in light of the COVID-19 crisis and the impact this is likely to have on the UK labour market. Policymakers and sector leaders including the Department for Education and the Careers and Enterprise Company will provide a strategic overview following the Careers guidance and access for education and training providers report published in 2018 and ahead of schools being required to have access to an Enterprise Adviser by December 2020.

Best practice case studies, a panel discussion and a workshop will provide delegates the opportunity to:

  • Discuss how schools, colleges and careers hubs can best work collaboratively to generate leads in key industries
  • Plan how to disseminate careers training to wider staff in schools
  • Learn how to effectively meet the Gatsby Career Benchmarks
  • Adapt current careers and enterprise education plans in light of COVID-19, such as by taking resources online and providing virtual experiences

This Forum is specifically designed for the Schools and Further Education Sector including:

  • Headteachers
  • Heads of Sixth Form
  • Careers Advisors
  • Deputy and Assistant Headteachers
  • Principals
  • Vice Principals
  • Directors of Education
  • Heads of School Improvement
  • School Improvement Managers
  • Education Improvement Advisors
  • Outreach Managers
  • School Liaison Officers
  • Chief Executives

The Forum is also open to Local Authorities and the Voluntary and Private Sectors in order to encourage debate and discussion.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Richard Simper, Careers and Further Education, Department for Education 
  • Charlotte Thurston, Head of School Engagement, Education and Employers
  • John Yarham​, Interim Chief Executive, Careers and Enterprise Company


View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments, and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Dr Anne Chant, Director of the Centre for Careers and Personal Development, Canterbury Christ Church University (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Examining the Government’s Plans to Improve Careers Education

  • Discussing the impact of COVID-19 on delivering careers education, and how to adapt to labour market trends
  • Exploring the ‘Careers guidance and access for education and training providers’ guidance including key deadline dates for duties for teachers, governing body and headteachers in relation to career education
  • Analysing statutory duties for schools in relation to careers guidance including having a careers leader with relevant training to deliver a careers programme across all Gatsby Benchmarks, and the importance of this in line with expected labour market changes
  • Learning about governors’ role in developing careers education by creating a dedicated member of the body taking strategic responsibility for careers guidance and encouraging employer engagement
  • Raising awareness of the key characteristics Ofsted are looking for in careers and enterprise programmes including schools creating online ‘careers hubs’

Richard Simper, Careers and Further Education, Department for Education (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Exploring Resources and Funding Available for Improving Careers Provision

  • Considering the next steps in delivering careers education, making up for lost time during the lockdown period
  • Reflecting on the outcomes of the virtual ‘My Week at Work’ scheme with the Oak National Academy in June 2020, and the opportunity for more initiatives like this
  • Outlining how schools can partner with enterprise advisers, a senior business volunteer and a trained enterprise coordinator to improve careers provision
  • Exploring how to access the next round of training bursaries for careers leaders in schools and colleges across England leading to quality assured careers provision
  • Demonstrating how to use the online tracker tool to record and manage pupils’ careers plan annually allowing teachers to evaluate the success of completed activities
  • Making best use of the ‘Compass’ self-evaluation tool which tests a school’s careers provision against the benchmarks and produces a confidential report showing how they compare against them
  • Discussing next steps following the March 2020 Evaluation of the Enterprise Adviser Network

John Yarham​, Interim Chief Executive, Careers and Enterprise Company (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Being Strategic in Your School's Careers Education Approach

  • Learning how to inspire students’ future: Connecting students with volunteers from across the public, third and private sector who provide practical guidance through the ‘Inspiring the Future’ programme
  • Analysing how encounters with the world of work can change attitudes and improve academic achievement: Sharing findings from the Motivated to Achieve research report
  • Exploring the importance of starting early with career related learning: Analysing findings from research and programmes delivering with primary schools
  • Working with employers to support career related learning in schools: Exploring best practice and learnings from programme delivery, and considering what this may look like in a post-COVID era

Charlotte Thurston, Head of School Engagement, Education and Employers (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


International Best Practice: Learning from the Maltese Careers Education System

  • Outlining the role of careers advisors who manage and deliver careers guidance across a ‘college’ of regional primary and secondary schools, and how this fits into the psychosocial team
  • Considering what can be learned from this structure to apply to the UK context, to ensure every school meets the requirement of ensuring all pupils in year 8-13 have access to an advisor
  • Understanding the structure of the National School Support Service, and its role in facilitating collaboration between schools and employers
  • Advising schools on how to stay up to date with labour market requirements, and how this can help better support the advice given to young people

Dorianne Gravina and Lorainne Grech Aquilina, Careers Guidance Education Officers, Ministry for Education and Employment, Government of Malta (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Delivering an Award-Winning Innovative Careers Education Programme

  • Outlining the key components of The Employer Led programme, and its growth since 2016, which allows year 10 pupils to study for GCSE qualifications while taking part in a range of activities
  • Discussing methods for ensuring all 8 Gatsby Benchmarks are met through the programme
  • Sharing lessons learned from partnership working with employers, and how to sustain long-lasting, meaningful relationships
  • Advising on how to devise effective workshops and masterclasses that prepare pupils for applying for competitive jobs in their chosen field
  • Considering how to adapt this best practice approach into an online format

Sarah Barley, Director of Employability, The Education Alliance Trust (CONFIRMED)

Innovation of the Year Winner 2019, The Careers and Enterprise Company Careers Awards

Winner, National Apprenticeships Award


Case Study: Accessing Funding to Successfully Establish a Local Careers Hub

  • Collaborating between a local enterprise partnership, a careers hub lead, enterprise coordinators and a lead school to create a central reporting mechanism for local careers progress
  • Demonstrating how to achieve this through regular meetings between hub leads and enterprise coordinators to focus resources and support progress at an individual institution level
  • Analysing the hub’s success including an achievement of 5.7 benchmarks, including 5 schools in the hub achieving 8 benchmarks and 4 Schools and Colleges achieving 7 benchmarks
  • Outlining key reasons for the high benchmark achievements
  • Exploring lessons learnt from the hub including its ability to make teachers aware of the previously unknown world class businesses in the local area

Kay Vaughan, Careers Hub Lead, Lancashire Careers Hub (CONFIRMED)

Winner of the Careers Hub of the Year Award at the Careers and Enterprise ‘Careers Excellence Awards’ 2019


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Effectively Supporting Further Education to Deliver Careers Opportunities

  • Exploring progress in advocating for schools to provide guidance on technical education including the T Level technical study programmes in their careers education to support alternatives to university
  • Outlining the key aspects of good careers provision for college students including mentoring activities, enterprise competitions, work experience and job shadowing
  • Addressing key outcomes from the Commission on Sustainable Learning Report including plans being developed for a pathways for learners at 16 strategy
  • Providing excellent careers guidance in colleges and achieving the AOC beacon standard by evaluating labour market intelligence to enable sustainable guidance on education
  • Demonstrating how careers education is integrated into wider teaching at colleges beyond careers education, by building relationships and liaising on how to include careers in the syllabus

Ian Ashman, Former President, Association of Colleges and Member, Independent Commission on Sustainable Learning for Life, Work and a Changing Economy (provisionally CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Creating Post-16 Opportunities for Pupils with SEND

  • Outlining the Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) programme which supports schools and local authorities embed preparations for life after school and college, for young disabled people, based on what is important to them
  • Understanding how PfA partners with the DfE to support the creation and accessibility of paid employment for young people with SEND
  • Sharing evidence of what works: How can special and mainstream schools use vocational profiles, job coaches and relationships with local employers to improve opportunities and long-term outcomes
  • Utilising the PfA self-evaluation tool to improve progress in line with SEND reforms specifically in the area of employment and careers guidance, and how this may be adapted after COVID-19

Ellen Atkinson, Regional Adviser, Preparing for Adulthood (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Successfully Transforming Whole School Careers Education to Meet the Gatsby Benchmarks

  • Taking a transformative approach to careers education by undertaking training, re-drafting the careers strategy and aligning the school’s strategy with the government’s statutory guidance
  • Learning how to achieve this by updating school leaders on the changes as well as provide training for all staff and governors on outstanding career strategies
  • Exploring the success of the careers programme which is close to meeting all Gatsby benchmarks by identify and engage appropriate staff for the training
  • Outlining the challenge of the transformation, including the theory behind a good careers strategy and demonstrating how to overcome this through a L6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development for teachers

Philippa Hartley, Careers Leader, Huntcliff School (CONFIRMED)

Winner of the Careers Leader of the Year at the Careers and Enterprise Careers Excellence Awards 2019


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Delivering Quality Careers Education After COVID-19

This session will explore how schools can collaborate with local careers hubs to deliver timely careers education and advice following the COVID-19 crisis. Building on careers guidance provided during the lockdown period, Ina will look at the next steps in providing the necessary careers education to ensure no child or cohort gets left behind.

Dr Ina Goldberg, Careers Leader, Oasis Academy Brislington and Member, West of England Careers Hub (CONFIRMED)

Ina was Commended in the Careers Leader of the Year Category at the 2019 Careers and Enterprise Company Awards


Case Study: Creating Lasting Relationships with Employers - A Further Education Perspective

  • Exploring guidance on how to provide outstanding employer partnerships which includes employee requirements and preference in its learning syllabus
  • Learning how to achieve a good partnership by appointing or employing an employability lead and a careers and progression lead focusing on nuanced aspects of career provision
  • Outlining the success of the careers programme which led to 100% of students knowing what they wanted to progress into and 87% knowing where to go to for advice
  • Overcoming the barriers to creating new relationships with new employers by liaising with employers on how colleges can include their employability requirements in the syllabus, and how this might change in light of new labour market requirements

Carlo Liu, Careers and Employability Lead, Westminster Kingsway College (CONFIRMED)

Jasbir Sondhi, College Director, Westminster Kingsway College (CONFIRMED)

Inaugural Winner of the A Careers and Enterprise Company Award, 2019


Questions and Answers Session


Interactive Panel Session: Improving Cross-Sector Collaboration on Careers Education

Hear and gain insights from leading schools, higher education institutions and councils who are utilising varied and innovative practices to improve careers education provision across their areas. Topics that will be discussed include a focus on SEND students, following Gatsby Benchmarks and partnership working with schools, as well as supporting students throughout and beyond the COVID-19 school closure period.

Delegates will have the opportunity to ask the panel questions about each approach, including the challenges they faced and the positive impact their programmes have had on students and schools in the local area.

Helen Riley, Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families and Communities, Staffordshire County Council (CONFIRMED)

Dr Anne Chant, Director of the Centre for Careers and Personal Development, Canterbury Christ Church University (CONFIRMED)

Ben Taylor, Careers Lead, Assistant Headteacher, The Westminster School (invited)


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

Although Careers and Enterprise Company’s (C&EC) 2019 State of the Nation report finds there is a gradual increase in the readiness of pupils for employment, the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Council has found that a skills gap is still widening. It reports that over 80% of UK companies believe that lack of skills is harming employees’ career progression and the country’s competitiveness in the world economy. Furthermore, the March 2020 C&EC Evaluation of the Enterprise Adviser Network demonstrates how vital it is for every child in every school to have access to an Enterprise Adviser. With the local and national labour market now being heavily impacted by COVID-19, there is an even greater need to provide advice and guidance to every pupil.

In October 2018, the Government released the ‘Careers guidance and access for education and training providers’ report. The report comes as a drive to create an outstanding careers system that will aid young people and adults to decide which career is right for them. It includes key information around how schools can utilise the 8 Gatsby benchmarks to provide outstanding careers provision. These include

  • Creating a stable careers programme,
  • Learning from career and labour market information,
  • Addressing pupils’ needs,
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers,
  • Employer encounters,
  • Personal guidance,
  • Work experience and
  • Encounters with further and higher education

It also outlines key statutory guidance and deadline dates for these duties to be fulfilled, notably for all schools to have access to an Enterprise Adviser by December 2020.

In addition, the Baker Clause amendment to the 2017 Technical and Further Education Act requires schools to ensure a range of further education providers have access to pupils from year 8 to year 13 to provide information on technical education and apprenticeships. An Ofsted report published in May 2020 for a January 2020 school inspection specifically stated the failure to meet this requirement as part of the reason for the school’s ‘Inadequate’ result.

Furthermore, in May 2019, The Secretary of State for Education announced that £2.5 million will be allocated to 19 local enterprise partnerships across England. Between these partnerships, 20 “careers hubs” will be formed, which will each work with up to 40 schools and colleges to train staff to give better careers advice and provide students with more “encounters” with employers. The Government also aims to increase training places available to support new careers leaders in schools and colleges from 500 to 1300. While the impact of COVID-19 on these plans is still to be determined, established advisers and hubs must now be working to adapt careers education, advice and experience, including by providing as much online content as possible.

It is therefore crucial that schools, further education institutions, local employers and regional hubs collaborate to both reduce the current skills gap and support the development of work-based skills for pupils in an effort to prepare them for the world of work, particularly in a post-COVID era.

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