Engineering UK are a Made in the Midlands Bronze Member
This Monday saw the release of the long awaited Government Careers Strategy.
We know that there is a skills shortage.
We know it can be very challenging for employers to find the right employees and apprentices.
We know it’s harder for young people to find employment.
So how can the new strategy help?
The December 2017 Careers Strategy has four main strands:
1. Getting young people first-hand experience of the workplace
2. Secondary schools and colleges provide advice and guidance form careers leaders
3. Access to f2f advice for adults
4. Access to labour market information
There are a number of actions that will be implemented between now and 2021. High-lights include:
There will be a careers leader for every secondary school, with funding attached equivalent to £8k per school.
Building on the pilot in the North-East, 20 “careers hubs” across the UK will be funded by Government and supported by a coordinator from the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC).
The CECs role will be broadened to promote all of the Gatsby benchmarks, not just the employer encounters ones.
So what does this mean for employers, especially those from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathmatics) sectors? More than ever schools will welcome support from local employers to promote their opportunities to their students and help teachers with their understanding of the sector. Along with this, there will be more opportunities to visit schools, interact with students, offer placements and open your premises for visits. Going forward we will see even more changes.
New approaches to careers provision will be tested and evaluated, to: encourage young people, especially girls, to consider jobs in STEM; and to understand what careers activities work well in primary schools;
Clear information about T levels will be provided to parents, teachers, young people and careers professionals
By end of 2020
All schools and colleges will have access to an Enterprise Adviser. These are volunteers from the world of work. If you’d like to know more please get in touch.
Schools should offer every young person seven encounters with employers - at least one each year from years 7 to 13 – with support from the CEC. Some of these encounters should be with STEM employers.
A new, improved National Careers Service website provide a digital careers service to young people as well as adults.
Government will work closely with Mayors and Combined Authorities and trial approaches to ensure local priorities inform provision of careers advice. Skills Advisory Panels are being established in partnership with Mayoral Combined Authorities and LEPs, to produce rigorous analysis of current and future local skills needs.
The strategy mentions the STEM ambassador programme, World Skills and Year of Engineering as ongoing successful work that Government is funding. I’ll be sharing more information with you next week on the Year of Engineering. The new strategy also references Engineering UK’s work with the CEC: “The CEC has funded over 170,000 encounters between young people and STEM employers since it was established, investing in organisations like Engineering UK, Greenpower Trust and Manufacturing UK. We will ask schools and colleges to make sure that STEM encounters, such as with employers and apprenticeships, are built into their careers programme by updating school and college statutory guidance. This will make sure that all students, including those who might consider a STEM career is not an option for them, start to understand the range and benefits of careers and routes on offer.”
There is also a commitment to supporting the simplification of the STEM careers landscape: “Government will assess the breadth and effectiveness of current careers provision in schools and colleges on STEM, including activities to inspire students to pursue STEM careers. We will produce information about ‘what works’ and develop a toolkit for use in schools and colleges, trialling new approaches where needed.”
It certainly looks like there will be exciting developments in the future with employers, and particularly with STEM employers at the heart of the work. The strategy places real importance on employer engagement with students to help create the workforce of the future who are informed, skilled and ready for work.
If you’d like to explore how you can start your schools work in line with the strategy or would just like to know more about some of the opportunities mentioned in the article please do get in touch.