Career Connect - Supporting the National Careers Strategy Locally

With the academic year in full flow and GCSE exams just about to start it seems a good time to take stock and look at what has been achieved by our Education and Business team working with more schools across the Liverpool City region, Greater Manchester and beyond.

Since we established our Education and Business Team in 2012, as a direct response to the national change in statutory duties relating to careers education and guidance, the types of services offered to schools and colleges has continued to grow. We currently hold over 120 separate contracts with schools and colleges across the North West, each contract varies in size, the types of work delivered, and pupils targeted. However, the team has also bid to access different funding streams that enrich and further develop our work in schools and colleges.

More recently, we have been successful in securing 3 different types of funding from the Careers and Enterprise Company:

1. Developing Case Studies of Best Practice in Personal Guidance (Gatsby Benchmark 8) Phase 1 December 2018 – July 2020

Schools frequently target limited resources in year 11, which is often too late to inform young people about the full range of options available to them. Therefore, the Education and Business team have developed a whole school programme of activities with school staff and pupils to create a Personal Guidance Community that will enhance current delivery, in 12 specially selected schools across the Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester, to ensure pupils are given the opportunity to reflect on their career management options earlier and within the context of the local opportunity landscape.

Our Personal Guidance programme delivers:

• A sustainable Personal Guidance Community of appropriately skilled professionals who will plan and deliver effective Personal Guidance interventions with the right professional with the right skillset at the right time.
• A robust system of continued professional development to ensure staff are appropriately skilled to deliver an innovative and effective careers programme
• Innovative digital tools that are at the core of the Personal Guidance Community to drive efficiencies, tailor scalability and ensure a legacy for future delivery
• A holistic approach to CEIAG and meaningful system for identifying student need including those who require targeted support
• Better prepared pupils who will make the most of Personal Guidance interactions by delivering an inspirational programme of activities to raise aspirations, inform, enthuse and engage learners in career planning while providing support with employability, enterprise, work experience and transition.
• An additional range of discrete programmes for students from disadvantaged groups to remove barriers and build skills necessary for future success

The result is an effective and affordable model Personal Guidance led by a Level 6 qualified professional that enables schools to have a better understanding of how to target Personal Guidance  interventions and deliver a modern approach to Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance, and we will reach over 3000 pupils each academic year.

2. The Careers and Enterprise Fund – The Virtual Wallet April 2019 – July 2020

The Careers and Enterprise Company have allocated up to £5000 (per school/college) of funding to support schools and colleges to meet Gatsby benchmark 5; Encounters with employers and employees which states 'Every student should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace'. The benchmark states that in practice this should mean students should participate in at least one meaningful encounter with an employer every year between years 7-13.

A successful bid was submitted that meant that a menu of 10 different employer-based programmes were placed on to a provider list (alongside other local and national organisations) and schools/colleges were able to pick which activities they felt were most appropriate for their school cohorts.
Our offer has been incredibly popular, and we have been commissioned to provide over 137 separate activities for schools and colleges across the region, this will mean that we will be providing over 1800 employer encounters for 26,000 young people between now and July 2020.

3. Developing Case Studies of Best Practice in Personal Guidance (Gatsby Benchmark 8) Phase 2 The Informed Transitions Pilot June 2019 – July 2020

As part of the second phase of Personal Guidance funding released by the Careers and Enterprise Company we were able to submit a bid for a pilot programme which would develop an innovative model of delivery to provide intensive personal guidance interventions for young people and their parents/carers attending specialist social emotional and mental health provision (SEMH).

The model has been developed as a ‘whole school’ approach to personal guidance by offering multiple and effective interventions for every young person attending specialist SEMH provision in Years 7 to 11. Our model recognises that young people with SEMH need additional time and space to make the most of personal guidance interactions. Included in the model is the opportunity to train Level 6 Careers Advisers in coaching and offer CPD to support a further understanding of social emotional and
mental health conditions.

This pilot will be delivered across 5 SEMH specialist schools in Liverpool City Region and will work with 350 young people all diagnosed with SEMH: 60% formally via an EHCP/statement of SEND; 40% of young people without an EHCP. Feedback from our previous delivery has taught us that a consistent approach is particularly important to young people with SEMH. We will therefore ensure that each school will work with the same Careers Adviser. This will ensure that a trusting and meaningful relationship is established with the young people, their parents/carers and the school. 100 parents/carers, selected on a needs-led basis, will also receive additional support and the opportunity to meet with Careers Advisers on a regular basis to improve their knowledge of the local opportunity structure and assist their children with the choices and decisions ahead of them.

We plan to circulate and share best practice more broadly and with all of our schools and colleges.

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