Following publication of the Government’s Careers Strategy, Athol Henry explains the extended role of the Careers and Enterprise Company and what centres need to know about what will be expected of them.
It is little secret that the working landscape is changing at a rapid pace. These changes are happening fast and frequently, driven by increased automation and ongoing digital development. The impact on industry is significant – but at the same time that some roles are disappearing altogether, new companies and jobs are being created.
These changes make navigating the world of work an even greater challenge for young people either entering the workplace for the first time, or considering how their choices might shape their futures whilst still in school or college. This is where The Careers & Enterprise Company comes in.
The Careers & Enterprise Company was established by government in 2015 to provide strategic coordination for schools and colleges, employers, funders and careers programme providers in order to create high impact careers and enterprise support for young people.
Since 2015, we have focussed on the requirement to improve employer engagement in schools and colleges by providing young people with multiple, high quality encounters with the world of work. This has never been more important, because young people need experience of the world of work if they are to be fully prepared for what is ahead.
In that time, more than 2,000 schools and colleges have signed up to be part of an Enterprise Advisor Network, facilitated by The Careers & Enterprise Company, that brings together schools and collleges with local businesses and employers. On average, those schools and colleges that are part of the network are alredat reporting 50% more employer encounters for their pupils.
The government’s Careers Strategy, published in December 2017, identified an enhanced role for The Careers & Enterprise Company. The strategy puts the Gatsby Benchmarks and the role of the Careers Leader at the forefront of what schools need to be doing to ensure that they are preparing young people for the workplace. Schools and colleges need a named Careers Leaders to be in place by September. He or she will ultimately be responsible and accountable for the delivery of their school’s careers provision, focussed on the longer-term requirement to meet all eight of the Gatsby Benchmarks.
Whilst the Careers Leader will ultimately be responsible for creating a strategy for the school, there are many ways that teachers can support them in the classroom, particularly around Benchmark Four, careers in the curriculum. We know that teachers have a lot to do in the classroom but they are extremely influential when it comes to careers – students are 18 times more likely to be motivated to learn if their teachers know their dreams and goals, they also feel more encouraged if they can clearly see the relevance of the subject to their own lives.
Teachers looking to implement careers in the curriculum in their classroom should consider following these tips:
• Join the Enterprise Adviser Network and take up the offer of Enterprise Advisers and Enterprise Coordinators who are keen to work with you to linking curriculum learning to careers.
• Once in the network, consult with your Enterprise Coordinator to find inspiration in case studies and resources highlighting good practice, such as those from the Gatsby Foundation or Forum Talent Potential websites. Leraning from what other schools and providers have done can help inspire creative ways to introduce careers and enterprise into the classroom.
• Encourage teachers who have moved into teaching from other jobs to make their previous experience and expertise available to students; try to build a positive culture of applied learning.
• Identify curriculum hotspots by scanning national curriculum subject specifications and spotting opportunities to develop careers-related content.
• Avoid overloading career-relevant lessons with too many learning objectives and be aware of the danger of choosing contexts that over-complicate subject learning.
• Take advantage of any collaborative arrangements, such as the school’s membership with a consortium or multiacademy trust, to develop careers in the curriculum approaches jointly.
‘Tomorrow’s Engineers’ is a programme that promotes the vital role of engineers and engineering to society through coordinated schools outreach and careers inspiration activities. Led by EngineeringUK and the engineering community. Tomorrow’s Engineers has designed careers resources for students between 11 and 14 that support the national curriculum, cover regional variations and promote the range of routes into engineering. The impact on girls is especially notable, with 45% reporting they know a lot about engineering, compared to 16% in the UK overall.
Initiatives such as ‘Tomorrow’s Engineeers’ may focus on only one of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks. However, by introducing the programme, the whole school can benefit as it works towards meeting all of the benchmarks in order to help its pupils to plan for their futures.
For more information on the Gatsby Benchmarks or the Enterprise Adviser Network, please visit our website: careersandenterprise.co.uk

Athol Hendry is Director of Communications at The Careers & Enterprise Company.