In line with the Secretary of State for Education’s announcement today [Monday 20 May 2019] that a model designed to transform careers education has been given a £2.5m boost, two new Careers Hubs – one for Schools and another focused on Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) – are coming to the region.
Secured and hosted by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the move recognises the success of two Hubs established here when the first wave were introduced across England in July 2018.
A Careers Hub already successfully services 40 secondary schools, while a regional College Hub, the only one in England, services nine FE colleges and one sixth form college.
The aim of the new School Hub is to extend the work already started in the Careers Hub and support a wider range of schools to achieve the benchmarks, while the SEND Hub is being introduced to pilot how the implementation of the Gatsby benchmarks can be made relevant and effective for special needs learners.
The move means that the North East LEP can work intensively with 91 schools and colleges across its catchment area.
Underpinning the Hubs are eight Gatsby Career Benchmarks, which the North East piloted, and provide a clearly defined framework for ‘Good Career Guidance.’
Each one supports the North East LEP’s Skills initiative, North East Ambition, which aims to ensure each and every student in the region has access to high quality careers education and all secondary schools and colleges in the North East are achieving the Benchmarks by 2024.
Schools and colleges enrolled in the Hubs work with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to improve careers information. They can access a Central Hub Fund, equivalent to around £1k per school or college, with additional support available, including access to training for career leaders and enhanced employer encounters.
Andrew Hodgson, chair of the North East LEP, said: “The North East LEP passionately believes in opportunity for everyone and it is a hugely positive step that we are able to support the Government’s national Careers Strategy through the introduction of these two new Hubs.
“Ensuring a pipeline of skilled talent is available to business and that local jobs are available to keep talent in the region is crucial if the LEP is to achieve its objective of creating 100,000 more and better jobs for the North East by 2024.
“The fact that this will improve the prospects of young people in another 50 schools in our region shows how successful our Skills programme has been to date and places us well on to the road to an even stronger future economy.”
The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education, said: “It is so important that young people get to know about a range of different jobs and careers so they can see the possible opportunities out there. Good careers education is such a valuable asset that helps children to explore future possibilities and go on to lead happy rewarding lives.
“Careers Hubs bring together schools, colleges, universities and employers to share their expertise and improve the careers education on offer to make sure young people have the information they need to make the most of their talents.
“Today’s investment will give thousands more young people access to expert careers support as they take those first exciting steps into their future.”
For more information about how the North East LEP is improving skills in the region, visit www.nelep.co.uk/skills.