| Views |

I have worked in the education, skills and careers arena for over twenty years. And rarely during that time has it felt that careers education has been at a more critical juncture.

I have been a careers adviser in schools and colleges, a governor in primary and secondary sectors and overseen a wide range of learning provision from my role as a director in a council.

For the last six years, I have been running a careers-focused social enterprise in the East Midlands, Futures, which was judged as Outstanding by Ofsted. To now play a role in promoting career development on a national stage is hugely exciting for me.

The Careers & Enterprise Company is also at an important stage of its development, having been formed in 2015 specifically to link schools and colleges to employers.

The national Careers Strategy, launched a year ago, outlined Government’s ambitions on careers for the first time. It also greatly expanded the role of The Careers & Enterprise Company, to more broadly support schools and colleges to deliver world class careers support.

I am therefore excited to be joining the organisation as its first Deputy CEO, during a period of growth and development. I am committed to ensuring that the organisation delivers on this mission, building on my extensive experience in the field.

For young people in school or college today, the world of work is fast changing and uncertain, perhaps more so than for many generations. The need for world-class careers education is greater than ever, both on a macro level in light of any Brexit implications on the economy and at a more institutional level with the greater focus that Ofsted are now applying to both the breadth of the curriculum and the impact of careers advice.

The good news is that we have now embedded The Gatsby Benchmarks, which set out the core elements of what good careers education looks like. They provide all of us in the sector with a clear roadmap of how to get to excellent. They bring together all the different elements of great careers education into a coherent whole. And they help to end unhelpful debates like whether careers guidance or employer engagement are more important – most now agree they both essential for comprehensive careers support.

I see The Careers & Enterprise Company as being uniquely well placed to help bring together these different strands at a national level. They present an opportunity for schools and colleges to form new, stronger relationships with us, with providers and with business to maximise impact for students and young people generally.

And we’re starting to see evidence of real progress. More than 3,000 schools and colleges have now assessed themselves against the Gatsby Benchmarks, and most importantly, we now have evidence that schools and colleges are making progress against the Gatsby Benchmarks. 

My role will be to have an intense focus to build on these initial successes and leading the sustainable change that I passionately believe our young people deserve. I am delighted to bring experience of all those elements – from the education sector, from the careers provider sector and from working extensively with business.

My priorities will be to build relationships across the country with schools, colleges, multi academy trusts and careers professionals. I will also be connecting with employers and supporting their connection into the education system.

I will have a keen eye on the evidence of impact and value for money. I believe that collectively, not only can we make a huge difference to the lives of young people in the system today, we can also develop the careers system to be a sustainable, transformational and integral part of the broader education system for the long term too. That is my mission and why I am so excited to be joining The Careers & Enterprise Company at this critical time.