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Education Secretary meets Lancashire young people to celebrate National Careers Week

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson marked National Careers Week with a visit to Lancashire today. The Minister saw first-hand how local pupils and apprentices are improving career prospects by engaging employers like BAE Systems.

The minister met Year 10 pupils from Shuttleworth College, a secondary school in Padiham, at BAE Systems’ state-of-the-art Academy for Skills & Knowledge (ASK) near Preston.

The Secretary of State heard from school pupils and BAE Systems apprentices about their experiences of careers education. Schools and colleges in Lancashire provide among the best careers education to young people in the country, according to the latest research from the Careers & Enterprise Company

The Education Secretary also heard from the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), The Careers & Enterprise Company and local employer partner BAE Systems about how they are working with schools and colleges to create partnerships that respond to local labour market needs.

Shuttleworth College is the lead school in the ‘Lancashire Careers Hub’. Launched in 2018, the Careers Hub brings together 30 schools and colleges across Burnley, Pendle and Blackpool to transform careers education for Young People.

The Hub is funded by the government-backed Careers & Enterprise Company and overseen by the Lancashire LEP. Last October, the Lancashire Hub and delivery partner Inspira won the national award for the Careers Hub of the Year in the annual Careers Excellence Awards.

The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP CBE, Secretary of State for Education, said:

“Good careers advice is vital for young people to learn about the world of work and choose a route that is best suited to their skills and talents.

 That’s why we established our network of 40 Career Hubs so schools and colleges can work together with local employers of all sizes to build relationships with students and introduce them to a wide range of opportunities.

 It was brilliant to meet students and apprentices from Shuttleworth College and hear about the great work being done by BAE Systems to make sure young people get the skills and knowledge they need for the jobs of the future.”

John Yarham, Interim Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said:

“Careers education has been transformed across the country in recent years, and schools and colleges in Lancashire are leading the way. We are delighted the Secretary of State got a chance to see the great work of schools like Shuttleworth and employers like BAE Systems, and we hope he’ll take that message back to Westminster so other can learn from this example of excellence.”

Peter Caney, Head of Early Careers & Skills, said:

"It is a pleasure to be hosting today’s visit and helping showcase the importance of raising pupil’s aspirations through an inspiring careers provision.  BAE Systems is a proud Cornerstone Employer and committed to providing meaningful opportunities for young people to experience the world of work and STEM related career pathways.  Working in partnership with the Careers and Enterprise Company helps to connect schools, colleges and employers together to ensure our efforts are effectively channelled in the most impactful way."

Steve Fogg, chairman of the LEP and Managing Director of BAE Systems Shared Services, said:

"We are delighted that the Education Secretary is visiting Lancashire to see our award-winning Careers Hub in action.

Schools and colleges offer high standards of careers provision across the board in Lancashire and the Enterprise Adviser Network and the Careers Hub have helped achieve that, working collaboratively with business.

Through this kind of excellent careers provision, we are improving the job prospects of young people and creating the pipeline of talent that local businesses need to thrive.

This help promotes inclusive growth and maximises social mobility to the benefit of the local community as a whole in Lancashire."

Shauna, an apprentice at BAE Systems said:

“Apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity to enter a business, understand how it works and gain a wealth of knowledge. It’s been absolutely fantastic so far – the best career decision I’ve made. I love my programme, and I have chance to engage with young people and promote STEM; showing them that it’s creative, innovative – really bringing it to life.”

National Careers Week is a celebration of careers education in schools and colleges across the country. The week provides a focus for activity across the country, at a time when many young people are thinking about the next step after education.

Careers Hubs are centres of careers education excellence across the country. Established by the Careers & Enterprise Company, there are currently 40 Career Hubs across the country.  They are local partnerships bringing a group of up to 40 schools and colleges together with business and community organisations to focus on improving outcomes for young people.

The Lancashire Careers Hub works closely with Lancashire’s Enterprise Adviser Network, a network of senior businesspeople who volunteer to help schools and colleges plan and develop their careers programmes. The Network is co-funded by Lancashire County Council on behalf of the LEP and the Careers & Enterprise Company and is delivered by Inspira.

National Careers Week is a celebration of careers education in schools and colleges across the country. The week provides a focus for activity across the country, at a time when many young people are thinking about the next step after education.