Careers hub aims to enhance choices for students

Jul 23, 2019

A NEW initiative aims to transform careers education for young people in Bedfordshire.

Careers Hub Luton is the first of its kind in the county. It is  made up of 25 schools and colleges across Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis working together with partners in the business, public, education and voluntary sectors. 

The hub will create a collaborative network to share and focus on best practice and help deliver outstanding careers support for schools.

Luton Council’s 14-19 team will be leading the initiative, supported by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership. Schools and colleges will have access to support and funding, including an expert hub lead to help co-ordinate activity and build networks, a central fund to support employer engagement activities, and training for a ‘Careers Leader’ in each school and college.

Cllr Mahmood Hussain, portfolio holder for children and young people at Luton Council, said: “High-quality careers education is crucial so that our young people may follow the right path to develop the necessary skills and qualifications to enable them to have a fulfilling career of their choice.

“This initiative complements our Luton Investment Framework which aims to enhance skills and education and raise the aspirations of our young people so they can reach their full potential.”

His counterpart at Central Bedfordshire Council Cllr Sue Clark, executive member for families, education and children, said: “We are delighted that our schools in Dunstable and Houghton Regis will be supported with developing their careers programmes.

“This will build on the work that already takes place with schools and we will work closely with Luton Council’s hub lead to ensure that the learning and best practice from this is disseminated across all of the schools in Central Bedfordshire.”

SEMLEP’s employer and skills manager Paul Thompson said: “The introduction of Careers Hub Luton will act as an accelerator to the great work which is happening through The Careers and Enterprise Company and Luton 16×16 programmes, together with Find your Futures in Central Bedfordshire. 

“This focal point will be of benefit to businesses, schools, colleges and young people, ensuring relevant, high impact and quality careers provision helps develop the talent pipeline much needed by our local employers.”

The careers hubs are a central part of the government’s Careers Strategy, published in December 2017. They are based on a model first piloted by the Gatsby Foundation and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership from 2015-17.

Schools and colleges in the pilot made rapid progress against the Gatsby Benchmarks – a framework of eight guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges and ultimately improves a range of outcomes for young people.

The Careers and Enterprise Company, which runs the careers hubs scheme and distributes the funding on behalf of the government, has reported rapid improvement in careers support in the first wave of 20 hubs, with progress strongest in disadvantaged areas. 

Following the launch of career hubs in September last yeare CEC invited LEPs to lead bids to establish career hubs and secure funding announced by the Secretary of State for Education. Luton is one of 20 career hubs, to be awarded funding in the second wave.

Employers are vital to the hub’s model success with all hubs required to demonstrate strong engagement amongst businesses and a clear plan for increasing employer engagement said the CEC’s deputy chief executive John Yarham

He added: “It is great news that Careers Hub Luton will bring this innovative model to young people in Bedfordshire.

“We launched the first 20 Careers Hubs across the country last year and the schools and colleges in this first wave are already outperforming the national average across all aspects of careers education. So we know that the model is working and is helping to prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work.

“We are delighted that the government’s investment is supporting us to work with local partners to roll this model out across the country, helping more young people get the vital support and opportunities they need.”

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