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Careers Excellence 2024

Careers Excellence 2024 recognises and celebrates the exceptional work of 10 careers education champions and their collective effort to promote skills and great outcomes for young people. 

They are among thousands of practitioners and leaders across England demonstrating brilliant work, across our developing careers system, to inspire and support young people to find their best next step.

Careers Excellence 2024 celebrates excellence across three themes:   

  • Widening Opportunity  
  • Building Future Skills  
  • Raising Quality 

Careers Excellence 2024 has been made possible by support from the Gatsby Foundation and held in association with National Careers Week.  

The 10 champions have been identified from The Careers & Enterprise Company's (CEC) evaluation and quality frameworks and validated through our network partners.

The final 10 careers champions were selected by CEC’s Board, overlaid by consideration about diversity and inclusion across institutions, practitioners/practice and regions. 

Read more about the 10 careers champions below. 

Our impact

We work with secondary schools, colleges, and employers to improve careers education and help every young person take their next best step.

Find out more
Widening Opportunity 

Here we are recognising the work of organisations which have made a significant difference for under-represented groups of young people and those facing the biggest barriers.

Midland Metro Alliance 

This organisation works on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority to expand the tram network across the region. They have shown how to successfully engage students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) through a design and construction competition. 400 young people took part and in 2023. 700 young people experienced an encounter with employers. They created 'Careers on Track', an online skills hub which contains resources for students and teachers as well as more than 50 videos from different people sharing their career journeys in the construction sector. 

Our selection panel said: “We love the SEND focus and it’s clear replicability and they are already scaling.”

West of England Combined Authority (WECA) Effective Transitions Project 

This is a Careers Hub in the West of England which has demonstrated success in helping young people with low school attendance rates from dropping out of employment, education or training. Their work includes one-to-one advice and guidance sessions, group workshops and experiences of the world of work which has included a range of employer encounters. The project has changed students' attitudes to work and study, helping them with revision, coaching and CV writing as part of their overall career readiness.

Our selection panel said: “We like the fact they are listening to the voices of the young, stats look good and again approach is easily replicated.” 

The Chiltern School 

This is an 'All-through' Special School for pupils from 3-19 years old which has achieved 100% of the Gatsby Benchmarks that classify high quality careers guidance in a school. All learning in the school is tailored to enable students to take their most meaningful next step. The curriculum is founded on developing the core skills of communication, independence, and emotional health and wellbeing. Therefore, careers learning at Chiltern focuses on developing the small steps or essential skills that enable pupils to prepare for adulthood.

Our selection panel said: “Really strong framework…executing so much of what CEC has developed, a programme that is an exemplar.” 

Building Future Skills

Here we are recognising the work of organisations which have led the way on helping to equip young people with the skills they need to meet local skills needs. 

Altimex Limited 

This is a small, electronics, fibreoptics and LED lighting firm from Chester which has been affiliated to the Cheshire and Warrington Careers Hub for the past two years. Their activity includes supporting a virtual work experience pilot project focused on building girls’ interest in digital skills and pathways during Covid. Despite only having 19 employees, Altimex has delivered over 500 encounters with young people in the past year. 

Our selection panel said: “A small organisation but with multi-faceted impact led by an engaged managing director. The level of involvement in different elements of activity is exceptional.”

Hull and East Yorkshire Careers Hub 

This Hub has played an active role in the development of Local Skills Improvement Plans and has done high impact work with parents and students on boosting employability skills linked to employer need. The Hub has one of the best rates of access for colleges and training providers to advise their students in Years 8-13 about non-traditional academic routes, like T levels and apprenticeships. 

Our selection panel said: “Good response to local needs, with a focus on apprenticeship and technical education improvement and excellent work on parent-facing initiatives.”  

Lancaster & Morecambe College 

The college, working with key strategic partners from business, other education institutions, the Careers Hub and the local councils, has developed a curriculum focused on green and sustainable futures. This curriculum is at the centre of the college’s outreach and careers work with primary, secondary and other further education colleges in the county. 

Our selection panel said: “Excellent and enthusiastic multi-level focus on local skills needs and careers opportunities embedded throughout the college and its curriculum.”

Raising Quality

Here we are recognising the work of organisations which have demonstrated exemplary leadership in improving the standard of careers provision in their area.

Morgan Sindall Construction   

This is a national employer with more than 6,000 employees, connected to five Careers Hubs in the East and Southeast of England. They have delivered a comprehensive educational engagement programme in the East that has inspired more than 22,000 students through work experience, careers days, site tours and interview and CV workshops. 

Our selection panel said: “Really strong involvement going back six years, with a range of partnerships building a lasting legacy for the future.”

Greater Manchester Combined Authority Careers Hub 

The second largest careers hub outside of London with 262 schools in the region across 10 local authorities. They have forged a dynamic network of stakeholders, collaborating to create a high-quality, sustainable and inclusive system for careers and skills across the combined authority region.

Our selection panel said: “A good example of a national approach tailored effectively, locally through partnership in a northern region of strategic importance.”

Turner Schools Multi Academy Trust 

This is a group of three primary and three secondary schools serving approximated 4,000 pupils from Folkestone and Dover in Kent. Just under 40% of students are eligible for free school meals. They progress to a wide range of post-16 destinations, with a mix of academic and vocational pathways, suggesting that pupils are well informed of the different options available to them.

Our selection panel said: “The Trust has demonstrated strategic leadership for careers across all its schools and built strong relationships with local employers.” 

The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) Chair’s Choice

Here we are recognising a careers champion selected by Nicky Morgan, CEC Chair, as demonstrating brilliant practice and improved education outcomes for young people.

Greater London Authority and Think Forward Effective Transitions Project  

This organisation works with young black men in alternative provision settings to help them form cohesive and successful networks with peers and professional adults giving them a better chance to achieve a positive post-16 transition. There have been marked improvements in the self-awareness, attendance and punctuality of the young people attending the programme.

Chair’s comments: “This project showed commitment to character education and personal development and demonstrated brilliant practice through its use of relatable mentors, coaching and other enrichment activities.”