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We have announced the first wave of organisations to benefit from a £2.5m investment fund to support personal guidance in schools and colleges.

Four organisations will share just under £870,000 in first phase of the fund, with up to £1.7m available in the second round of funding. The four organisations are Achieving for Children, Adviza, the Association of Colleges and Careers Connect.

The Personal Guidance Fund invests in projects that deliver innovative models of personal careers guidance to clusters of schools and colleges. With a focus on the training of careers development professionals, the fund aims to explore the effectiveness of different approaches to career guidance, and how they can be scaled up and integrated across the education system.

These funded programmes will be used to create case studies, develop guidance on scaling best practice, identify new approaches and make the case for further investment.

We have engaged independent career development professionals, careers organisations and the UK-wide professional body, to help shape their approach to the investment fund.  

A steering group – including representatives from the Careers Development Institute, Careers England and others - has provided advice and helped to ensure the fund has the greatest, sustainable impact on the sector and young people.

Why personal guidance matters

Personal guidance is vital for students to plan for their future careers. Personal careers guidance is effectively a process, and supported by a qualified career adviser, challenges individuals to self-assess, consider their values and ambitions and make realistic and informed decisions about their futures.

The Gatsby Benchmarks for good careers education say that every student should have a minimum of one personal guidance interview with a qualified careers adviser by the age of 16, and the opportunity for a further interview by the age of 18.

However, our State of the Nation report – based on self-assessments by schools - suggests that less than half of schools (46%) are meeting this benchmark.

Steve Stewart OBE, Executive Director of Careers England, said:

"Careers England welcomes the Careers and Enterprise Company Investment Fund to support Personal Guidance. With an ever-changing labour market and huge lifelong financial costs of some post 18 learning options there has never been a more important time to provide high quality careers guidance to our young people"

Jan Ellis, Chief Executive of the Careers Development Institute, said: 

“The Career Development Institute is delighted to support this much needed investment in personal career guidance. Misinformation has led some to believe that career guidance counselling is expensive, perhaps because previous governments have had confused objectives for careers services in England. This is not true and these first projects will show that high quality and impactful personal guidance for young people can be provided at an economic price.”  

Funded programmes

Full details of each project are available here: https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/sites/default/files/uploaded/1138_personal_guidance_supplement_v4.pdf 

Applications for the second wave of funding are open from today until the end of November. Interested organisations should contact investment@careersandenterprise.co.uk or visit our website, www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/funding/personal-guidance-fund for more information.

Any organisation bringing together a group of schools or colleges can apply – including local authorities, LEPs, MATs, Careers Hubs, Opportunity Areas or careers provider from the charity of commercial world. However, schools and colleges should be involved in the development of proposals.