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Skills Minister Anne Milton MP visited Oasis Academy Brislington on Thursday 6th June, to speak to students and staff from schools across the West of England about how they prepare and inspire young people for the world of work.

More young people across the region will now receive targeted support with the expansion of the West of England ‘Careers Hub’ announced earlier this month. A Careers Hub brings together groups of schools and colleges with employers, training providers and careers professionals to improve careers guidance for young people.

The West of England Careers Hub was first launched by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in September 2018, to work with 25 schools and colleges across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Following a successful first year, we have now announced that the West of England Careers Hub will now be expanded to work with 70 mainstream schools and colleges, and six special educational needs and disability schools.

Anne Milton MP spoke with ‘Careers Leaders’ from schools across the area, and also spoke to students about their plans for the future and the support they get from their school.

Anne Milton, Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships, said:

“It was brilliant to speak to young people, and hear from Careers Leaders in Bristol today. Following the launch of the Careers Strategy in 2017 it was great to see the progress made and impact the Strategy is having on the ground. The Careers Strategy is rightly ambitious, making sure all young people get a chance to understand more about the world of work, and with the support from the Careers and Enterprise Company that is clearly shining through. 

“I want all young people to hear about the range of opportunities available to them – whether that’s doing an apprenticeship, A-Levels or, from 2020, the new T-Levels. Good careers education is vital to make sure young people get the help they need to make these important decisions about their futures.”

Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “It’s terrific to see our work to improve skills in the region is receiving national recognition and support from the Apprenticeships and Skills Minister. The West of England Careers Hub is so important in helping our young people realise their potential, by ensuring they know what the world of work can offer them, and have the right skills for our region’s employers.” 

Claudia Harris, CEO of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “The Minister is a huge champion of creating opportunities for those that need them most. We are thrilled that she is spending time at a school that is leading the way in careers support – enabling the aspirations and choices of its students – and hearing from the Careers Leaders who are making this crucial work happen.”

Principal of Oasis Academy Brislington, Peter Knight, said: “We were honoured to have the Minister visit our academy and speak with students about their aspirations. Our careers education aims to build our students’ confidence, motivation and resilience to achieve their potential and fulfil their ambition. Working with The Careers & Enterprise Company has enabled us to develop partnerships with businesses who support us in ensuring that our students leave school career-ready and with high aspirations.”

Deputy Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Craig Cheney, said: “As one of the fastest-growing cities in the UK, there are a wide range of potential career paths available to young people in Bristol and it is vital we help guide them towards the ones that best suit their skills, interests and potential. We welcome the expansion of the Careers Hub to include more of Bristol’s schools and the positive impact it will bring to young people, as well as the wider city.”

Photography by Jon Rowley.