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A natural first step for a new organisation looking to enhance the careers offer for young people in England was to look at the available data and try to understand the careers landscape.

In 2015 we developed a model to help us understand where in the country was most in need of support with careers activity provision and identified these areas as 'Cold Spots'. This helped us focus attention and to allocate our initial investment fund. We knew that resource would be limited, which is why we sought to fund programmes with a track record, that were able to leverage matched funding. We also used the model to focus 75% of the fund within Cold Spot areas.

The Cold Spots model used a range of indicators from education and the labour market. Individual areas could look to see how they performed relative to the rest of the country in data including the percentage of STEM subjects studied by girls, or the amount of work experience offered by local businesses.

The update

Since our initial findings, the data has been updated and we are now on our third iteration of the Cold Spots model. Unfortunately, we have lost some of the indicators used in previous years due to changes in the way the data is collected but we still have 8 of the original 10. Our latest report, Updating the careers Cold Spots, is accompanied by a spreadsheet that contains data at the Local Enterprise Partnership, and Local Education Authority level so that stakeholders can identify the strengths and weaknesses of their areas.

Warming up

Almost everywhere across the country has become warmer since The Careers & Enterprise Company started. While it is too early to make claims about the cause of this, we are very encouraged that things are moving in the right direction. To explore this further we include a case study from Northamptonshire, where the pilot programme ‘Enterprise for All’ became the framework for our Enterprise Adviser Network, that began in January 2015. The headline results are encouraging; a survey of schools involved in the pilot showed that:

  • 100% agree that students are more informed about the education and career opportunities available to them
  • 89% agree that students have more employer encounters
  • 83% agree that the school is better connected to local employers

Relaunching the Cold Spots

As we note in the new report, since the publication of the first Cold Spots report in 2015 there has been much change in terms of government, education, and the labour market. The period has seen three governments and a vote to leave the European Union. There have been education reforms to GCSE’s, technical education, and the introduction of an apprenticeship levy. We have also lost 2 of our original 10 data indicators.

During this period the Cold Spots analysis has helped The Careers & Enterprise Company and other key stakeholders to understand relative need across the country. In order to be proactive to changes in the careers landscape and enable our stakeholders to feed in to the model, this year we are launching a review of the Cold Spots.

Send us your feedback

We plan to relaunch an updated version of the Cold Spots this year. To inform this update we are currently welcoming feedback on areas including which data should be used as a basis for the Cold Spots and how the findings could be best presented. Full details of this consultation can be found on page 12 of the Updating the careers Cold Spots [PDF] report. Please send your suggestions to research@careersandenterprise.co.uk


Read more

Research - Updating the careers Cold Spots