Future of Work

A new fund has been created to increase the number of encounters young people aged 11-18 have with employers while in education which, according to research[i], dramatically reduces their chances of becoming NEET and increases future salary by on average 18%.

Despite this evidence, currently only 40% of schools offer employer engagement to young people with careers and enterprise provision varying dramatically across England. According to The Careers & Enterprise Company’s ‘Cold Spots’ report those in northern, coastal and rural regions have the least support in England.

The government-backed £5 million fund administered by The Careers & Enterprise Company has secured matched funding which will mean, in total, £9.5 million will be distributed to the 33 winning organisations.

The programmes are located across England, with 75% of funding directed to ‘Cold Spot’ areas. They were selected following a rigorous process against key criteria defined according to research that shows young people need encounters, information and a plan in order to succeed[ii].

The winning programmes demonstrated a particular focus on employer encounters, had a track record of success and had the ability to scale up to do more particularly in ‘Cold Spot’ areas. Examples include those that provide intensive mentoring support to those at risk of becoming NEET, connect young people with successful former-pupils to provide inspiration and advice along with hands on work experience.

Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan said: “Good careers education and guidance is vital in helping young people make informed choices so they can go on to rewarding and fulfilling jobs – employers are integral to this process.

“As a Government we are supporting The Careers & Enterprise Company to help schools and colleges develop closer links with businesses so they can play a greater role in preparing young people for the world of work.

“This investment fund will ensure that around 250,000 students that need it the most can benefit from high-quality careers and enterprise provision, helping them fulfil their potential.”

Claudia Harris, CEO of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “We are delighted to announce the 33 programmes that will receive funding. There are a huge number of extraordinary organisations working across the country to connect business to schools and colleges, creating encounters that inspire and inform young people about the future. We are pleased The Careers & Enterprise Company Investment Fund will support a set of those organisations to reach nearly 250,000 further young people, especially in ‘Cold Spot’ areas of greatest need.”

The Careers & Enterprise Company exists to help inspire and prepare young people to take control of their futures. To do this, it will help them make the link between their education and future career and build the attitudes and attributes they will need to succeed. By filling gaps in the provision of careers and enterprise activities across the country and by increasing employer engagement it will help all young people achieve their potential.

[i] Young adults who have greater levels of contact with employers whilst at school are significantly less likely to be NEET and can expect, when in full-time employment, to earn up to 18% more than peers who had no such workplace exposure. Source: Percy, C & Mann, A. 2014. “School-mediated employer engagement and labour market outcomes for young adults Wage premia, NEET outcomes and career confidence” in Mann et al, eds. Understanding Employer Engagement in Education. London & New York: Routledge.

[ii] Gatsby ‘Good Career Guidance’ by Sir John Holman

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