Young people in the West of England are getting much better careers advice from their schools and colleges, thanks to a programme spearheaded by Metro Mayor Tim Bowles.
During National Careers Week (2 to 7 March), the West of England Combined Authority is celebrating the work of educational professionals across the region to improve career guidance and support for pupils.
Schools within the West of England Careers Hub have enthusiastically embraced the Careers & Enterprise Company’s offer of free training bursaries for Careers Leaders in secondary schools:
- 17 Schools and Colleges have already completed a Careers Leader training programme, through a variety of professional teaching organisations; Teach First, the CDI and Warwick University.
- There are currently 29 schools and colleges undertaking a course with a further 10 signed up for a course this year
- By July 2020, 56 of the 78 Careers Hub schools (72%) will have completed a professional careers Leaders qualification.
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles said: “This highlights the commitment our schools and colleges have to developing and implementing a careers strategy specifically for their students.
“I want everyone who lives and works in the region to have the chance to both contribute to, and benefit from, its economic success. The West of England Careers Hub is an integral part of my ambition to help all residents achieve their full potential by ensuring that they are skilled and work-ready.”
Careers Leaders have responsibility for planning, implementing and quality assuring a careers programme for their school/ college, managing the delivery of career guidance and networking with external partners, including employers.
Quotes from Careers leaders around the region:
“The completion of the CDI Careers Leader course has not only equipped me with the skills, knowledge and critical thinking to effectively undertake the role of the Careers Leader at City of Bristol College, it was also hugely beneficial from the networking point of view. Thanks to the programme I have been able to gain access to a group of critical friends, Careers Leaders in other settings, to share best practice and ideas for the benefit of our young people.
At City of Bristol College, our Careers and Progression Strategy forms a fundamental part of what we do. The recent Ofsted inspection commended the college on ensuring that ‘students and apprentices receive useful information, advice and guidance which is tailored to their needs’. Having the Careers Leader qualification under my belt is bringing tangible benefits at the student as well as college strategic level.”
Jana Smidkova, City of Bristol College – CDI course
“The Teach First Careers Leader course was invaluable as it helped me to develop my working practice in a supportive environment. It was fantastic to be able to share ideas and best practice with colleagues. A large part of the course was working towards a careers strategy which helped me to focus on the areas to develop within our careers offer. In addition, a range of opportunities have come out of my involvement with the course including networking with employers and arranging teacher work experience; this in particular has enabled colleagues to understand current working practices within their subject area and bring this learning into the classroom”
Catrina Holmes, Digitech, South Gloucestershire – Teach First Course.
“The CDI careers Leader course has been invaluable to me as someone who is new to the post of Careers Leader. Career Leaders are often trying to implement whole school change as a one-person team therefore being able to meet with CL’s from other schools and to tap into the wealth of experience from the course trainers gives lots of opportunity for receiving expert advice and reassurance that you are taking the right approach.
The course spends time going back to through the history of careers education, giving an excellent foundation to be able to understand the wider purpose of the role and the significant impact it can have when implemented well”.
Philippa Johnston- Hayesfield Girls’ School B&NES – CDI course
“I find it really valuable because it’s well thought out and structured and supports me to develop my strategy in school as I develop my own understanding of best practice careers education”.
Steve Colebourne CL St Katherine’s School North Somerset – CDI course