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.


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]

Guidance for Gatsby Benchmark 5 and 6: Scoring online employer engagement in Compass and Compass+

This guidance is designed to support Careers Leaders with the development of careers programmes for young people and advise on how to complete the Compass tool this term while face-face contact is not possible due to Covid-19. This guidance focuses on measuring online employer engagement in relation to Gatbsy Benchmarks 5 and 6.

Full guidance for all Gatsby Benchmarks will be made available in the autumn.

Online Employer Engagement: guidance for Benchmarks 5 and 6 [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]
Lifeskills Commended by City and Guilds, LifeSkills provides educators with access to free online interactive resources, curriculum linked lessons and work experience opportunities and includes lessons adapted for students with SEND. LifeSkills [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.  Bragfolder [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]
Mentoring Tool This Mentoring programme has been developed by the team in the Heart of the South West. It is designed to be delivered by Enterprise Advisers in their respective schools and can also be delivered by other volunteers. Mentoring Tool [PDF]
Parent Pledge

This resource has been developed by the team at Inspiring Worcester to engage parents in supporting delivery of career related activities across a whole school or college

Parent Pledge [Word document]

Fuelling Futures - National Grid SEND Toolkit

Our toolkit, created in collaboration with the National Grid, explores the many ways businesses, schools and colleges can work together to help prepare young people with SEND for the world of work – from providing enterprise opportunities in schools to creating supported internships in the workplace.

Fuelling Futures - National Grid SEND toolkit [PDF]

Naturally Talented

A platform for all users to learn more about their strengths and passions and how they will link those to the world of work.

Naturally Talented [website]
Doncaster Innovation Challenge

This resource was developed by the team in the Doncaster region and provides a narrative to the design, process and implementation of The Doncaster Innovation Challenge. The challenge was an inter-school, borough-wide competition aimed at supporting schools in meeting Gatsby Benchmark 4 and 5.

Doncaster Innovation Challenge [PowerPoint]
Success in a Box

The boxes aim to highlight the practical application of academic knowledge and key transferable skills in the workplace, signpost labour market trends and inform students of the range of potential future careers open to them.

Success in a box [website]


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.

Hear from Careers Leaders delivering this benchmark

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