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We now have a broad consensus about what careers education excellence looks like

07 Mar 2023

The Right Hon. the Baroness Morgan of Cotes, Chair of the Careers & Enterprise Company, shares her view on the progress made in careers education and the priorities for next steps, from her introduction to CEC’s Ready for the Future report

When I first became Secretary of State for Education, I was asked by a journalist to say what my priorities were. On instinct, I said character and careers. I highlighted careers because I had been involved with the brilliant 'Bridge to Work’ scheme in my constituency which was bringing employers into schools, raising aspirations and boosting social mobility. Nearly 10 years on it is a great privilege to be the new Chair of the Careers & Enterprise Company and to see the progress that has been made.   

For the first time in many years, we now have a broad consensus about what excellence looks like (the Gatsby Benchmarks) and a national structure of support (Careers Hubs) which is connecting businesses to schools and colleges with purpose and at scale. Clear impact data is coming through from education, employers and young people, gathered through our digital tool Compass +. These are strong foundations on which to build.  

The Ready for the Future report sets out the clearest picture of the system to date. There are real grounds for optimism. As a result of well-structured careers programmes, young people are reporting becoming more career ready as they progress through school. They know more about local businesses and are more aware of pathways like apprenticeships. Careers Hubs are having an impact, helping to improve provision in schools and colleges whilst building social capital for young people. The work of employers is proving invaluable as it becomes increasingly multi-faceted and sustained.   

So what next? I want us to build on this progress to make sure every young person can find their best next step. This means, amongst other things, ensuring teachers have the careers awareness training they need to help the students they teach. I am particularly pleased with the ‘Teacher Encounters’ initiative which is getting subject teachers out into industry so they can build the learning back into their lessons. I want us also to ensure even more young people have access to high quality and regular experiences with businesses and their workplaces. And we must continue to amplify technical and vocational routes which can help us build the skills we need for the economy.  

In short, I want more young people ready for the future, through a system that is ready for the future too.  

Read the full findings

Find out more about the national review of Careers Education in England in 2021/22.

Ready for the Future report