The Solent region leads the nation in preparing young people for the world of work, according to a new report published by The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC).
The State of the Nation 2018 report, which provides an assessment of the quality of careers education and guidance of schools and colleges, measured against the eight Gatsby benchmarks, places Solent schools and colleges as the highest achieving in the country.
The Solent LEP has been working with The Careers & Enterprise Company since 2015, initially to establish the Solent Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN). The EAN bridges the gap between education and employers through volunteer enterprise advisers who are drawn from businesses who work strategically with schools to develop effective employer engagement plans.
Building on its commitment to this agenda, earlier this year the Solent LEP successfully applied to run a pilot Careers Hub. The hub brings together local schools and colleges, with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals, to improve careers education across all eight Gatsby benchmarks. The approach is being piloted in 32 mainstream schools and colleges and one pupil referral unit in the east-Solent region.
While the positive news is that schools and colleges are better preparing young people for work, there still remains a long way to go. On average, Solent schools and colleges are only fully achieving three of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks. Evidence suggests that performance against the Gatsby Benchmarks is the principal driver for outcomes for young people and facilitates the best possible preparation for employment.
Rachael Randall, LEP board member leading on skills said: "Young people are our future, so it is vitally important we inspire and support them to successfully enter the workplace. It is heartening to have national recognition of the work and its impact taking place locally, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank our team of enterprise advisers who volunteer their time in schools. The Solent is home to world-leading businesses and offers young people exciting careers".