The Gatsby Benchmark revolution: A manifesto for careers

By Changeboard Team

A five-point careers manifesto urging the next government to “drive forward the Gatsby revolution” has been launched by Careers England, with the Careers Development Institute and the International Centre for Guidance Studies.

This sets out five career-development policies, including the need to fund all schools and colleges to provide personal guidance, delivered by qualified careers advisers, to all pupils.

It follows a Careers England survey, published in November, showing that only 10% of schools have adequate funding for careers guidance; 75% have insufficient, limited or no funding.

Around a fifth of secondary schools/ academies in the survey reported receiving less than £2K in funding per annum. Given average size of secondary school is circa 1,000, this equates to circa £2 per student.

Five key career development policies for the next government

  1. Set out and implement a strategy for lifelong career development: This strategy should make it clear what citizens should expect across their life course, addressing the fragmentation, gaps and overlaps in the present career development system.
  2. Start career education early: Young people form their ideas about careers long before they enter the labour market. Ensuring that citizens gain a broad overview of the possibilities for their lives before they have to start making decisions is essential.
  3. Drive forward the ‘Gatsby revolution’ that has been started in secondary schools and colleges: The Gatsby Benchmarks set out a clear model for what needs to happen in secondary schools and colleges. There is a need to fund all schools and colleges to provide personal guidance, delivered by qualified careers advisers, to all pupils; to extend the coverage of the careers hubs and ensure that every school/college has a trained careers leader.
  4. Place career development at the heart of post-compulsory education: A future government should use its influence, and funding agreements with providers, to drive up the consistency and quality of career development provision across the post-secondary sector.
  5. Ensure that career development support is available to all young people, including those not in school or college, and to all adults both in work and those out of work: There is a need to improve the entitlement to ensure universal access to career support for all working adults and for those who are out of work.

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