Solent LEP has secured one of only 20 Careers Hubs around England to help transform careers education for young people.
The Solent Careers Hub will be made up of local schools and colleges working together with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to improve careers education. The approach will initially be piloted in 32 mainstream schools and colleges and one pupil referral unit in the east of the Solent area.
Careers Hubs are a central part of the Government’s Careers Strategy, published in December. The strategy aims to improve careers education and help prepare young people for the world of work.
The Government asked The Careers & Enterprise Company to scale up a model successfully piloted in the North East, by establishing 20 Careers Hubs across the country, allocating £5 million over a two-year period to support the Hubs.
The Solent Careers Hub will have access to support and funding to help meet the eight Gatsby Benchmarks of excellent careers education. This includes:
- A ‘Hub Lead’ to help coordinate activity and build networks
- Access to bursaries for individual schools and colleges to train ‘careers leaders’
- Central Hub Fund equivalent to around £1k per school or college
- Access to funding for schools to support employer encounters
Sarah McCarthy-Fry, chair of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership Employment and Skills Board, said: “We are delighted that our bid to become a Careers Hub has been successful. It gives us an opportunity to build on the early success of our Enterprise Adviser Network which has resulted in over 50% of all secondary schools in the Solent having a volunteer business leader working collaboratively with them to improve careers provision. Through our Careers Hub, we will provide further links for our young people of today to the careers of tomorrow. Support from our local employers will be vital in ensuring connections are made to future career opportunities and our local workforce can continue pushing the boundaries of technology, innovation and business. We hope to eventually see the Careers Hub rolled out to every school and college in the Solent.”
Ciaran O’Dowda, principal of UTC Portsmouth, said: “The Hub has in place a strong local commitment with 33 schools and colleges signed up covering over 33,000 young people in our pilot area. UTC Portsmouth is delighted to be the lead college in this partnership. We are a STEM college specialising in mechanical and electrical engineering and advanced manufacturing delivering A-levels and GCSEs. We provide a perfect fit for the proposed Careers Hub, preparing students for the careers of tomorrow, driven by local industry needs, in an area of high skills demand. As a college we have forged strong links with key employers in the local economy and are committed to helping cascade best practice to the wider network through the Careers Hub.”
Claudia Harris, chief executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “We’re excited by the potential impact of the Hubs. If employers, schools and colleges can better prepare young people for the world of work, we’re not just benefiting the future economy, but improving prospects for thousands of young people.”