Eight schools and colleges in Lancashire have been recognised as providing world-class careers education.
A further seven schools and colleges also received awards at an event which celebrated the success of Lancashire’s Enterprise Adviser Network and Careers Hub, both of which have been key to achieving high levels of careers advice for young people in the county.
Over 200 school and college Career Leaders and representatives, Enterprise Advisers and other guests were among the attendees at the conference at The Best Western Park Hall Hotel, Preston.
Enterprise Advisers are senior businesspeople who volunteer to help schools and colleges plan and develop their careers programmes.
Lancashire’s Enterprise Adviser Network has grown steadily since being launched in February 2016 and now there are over 140 Enterprise Advisers working with 130 secondary schools in Lancashire.
The network is co-funded by Lancashire County Council on behalf of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC), and is delivered by Inspira.
In September 2018, The Lancashire Careers Hub pilot was also launched across Blackpool, Burnley and Pendle, including 30 schools and colleges.
The Enterprise Advisers and the Careers Hub have combined to help schools and colleges work towards the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Careers Guidance.
The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of eight guiding principles that define best practice for careers provision in schools and colleges. They are recognised by Ofsted.
Professor Sir John Holman of the Gatsby Foundation, creator of the benchmarks, was the keynote speaker at the event and handed awards to the eight schools and colleges who have achieved all of the benchmarks.
A further seven schools and colleges who have achieved seven of the benchmarks were also recognised.
LEP board director Graham Cowley said: “Lancashire is leading the way in careers provision for young people.
“Schools and colleges offer high standards of careers education across the board and the Enterprise Adviser Network and the Careers Hub have helped support that.
“We are very pleased to see the leading lights recognised and we expect many more local schools and colleges to achieve these standards in the near future.
“Through this kind of good careers provision, we are improving the job prospects of young people and creating a pipeline of talent for local businesses, helping them grow and succeed.
“This is one of our key initiatives for promoting inclusive growth and maximising social value for the benefit of the local community as a whole.”
John Yarham, Deputy Chief Executive of the Careers and Enterprise Company said: “It was inspiring to hear about the great progress that schools and colleges in Lancashire have made in driving improvements in careers provision for young people.
“The progress across both the Enterprise Adviser Network and the Hub is nationally leading and is a testament to all of the hard work that so many partners have undertaken over the last few years, led locally by the LEP and supported by the Careers and Enterprise Company.”
The Lancashire Enterprise Adviser Network and Careers Hub Annual Celebration and Sharing of Best Practice Event also heard from speakers and featured workshops covering a range of topics including:
The Lancashire schools recognised by the Gatsby Foundation as achieving eight benchmarks were: