What is Gatsby Benchmark 5?

Encounters with employers and employees

In detail

  • Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. 
  • Every year, from the age of 11, pupils should participate in at least one meaningful encounter*with an employer. A ‘meaningful encounter’ is one in which the student has an opportunity to learn about what work is like or what it takes to be successful in the workplace.
  • This can be achieved through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes.

Hear from Careers Leaders delivering this benchmark

Representatives from Excelsior Academy speak about the practicalities of achieving this benchmark.


We have worked with Careers Leaders from across the sector to identify useful online resources that are freely available:

Resource Description Access resources
Gatsby Benchmark toolkits Our practical toolkits focus on the Gatsby Benchmarks. They are designed to help schools and colleges identify what 'good' looks like across the eight benchmarks.

Toolkit for Schools [PDF]

Toolkit for Colleges [PDF]

Toolkit for SEND [PDF]

Making it meaningful Our overview and check list help Career Leaders ensure each encounter or experience is meaningful for all participants. 

Making it meaningful overview [Powerpoint]

Making it meaningful check list [PDF]

Youth Social Action toolkit Our toolkit helps schools and colleges use youth social action to support careers education, helping you meet the Gatsby Benchmarks. Youth Social Action toolkit [website]
Fledglink app This free app for students aged 13+ allows students to complete a digital CV and matches them with jobs, apprenticeships and other suitable opportunities.  Fledglink app [website]
Bragfolder This website allows students to build a digital profile of their interests and careers experience and apply to trainee roles and apprenticeships directly.  LifeSkills [website]
The WOW show This Netflix-style careers channel for schools brings the world of work to life in the classroom. The shows are streamed on its YouTube channel and links curriculum learning to careers.  The WOW show [website]
How to engage employers guide This practical guide helps schools and colleges to engage employers with careers provision and offers top tips to sustain those relationships. Employer engagement guide [PDF]


Key reports from our research on this Benchmark:

Closing the gap
This report explores the current level of employer engagement in education in England and compares this with the ambitions set out in the government’s Careers Strategy.

How to support Careers and Enterprise Activities in schools: A Practical Guide for Employers
A practical guide for employers who want to engage with schools.

Business games and enterprise competitions. What works?
This report provides evidence on business games and enterprise competitions to help schools, colleges and providers of careers and enterprise programmes use the evidence to shape the programmes they are running and developing.

Teacher CPD delivered by employers. What works?
This paper provides an overview of the evidence for teacher continuing professional development (CPD) provided by employers with the aim of clarifying possible impacts and identifying effective best practice

Transition skills (mock interviews and CV workshops). What works?
This paper reviews the effectiveness of these employer-led transition skills events. Its findings will provide schools and colleges with evidence to support the delivery of these events and activities.

The evidence on careers events. What works?
This report presents the evidence on the operation and impact of careers events held in UK schools and colleges.

Effective employer mentoring
This report supports anyone involved in mentoring to better understand good practice.