The fast-changing world of work puts an ever-greater demand on all of us to support young people in making a successful transition from education to employment, helping them to identify and choose career opportunities that are right for them.
The government’s new Careers Strategy, published in December 2017, and statutory guidance for school leaders and school staff, published in January 2018, set out the plan for building a high-quality careers system that will help young people to achieve.
The eight Gatsby Benchmarks have been developed and define all the elements of an excellent careers programme.
The Gatsby Benchmarks have now been put at the heart of the Careers Strategy, with an expectation that all schools will begin working toward the benchmarks, meeting them in full by the end of 2020.
Benchmark 1: A stable careers programme.
Every school and college should have an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by students, parents, teachers, governors and employers.
Benchmark 2: Learning from career and labour market information.
Every student, and their parents, should have access to good quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities.
Benchmark 3: Addressing the needs of each student.
Students have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each student. A school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.
Benchmark 4: Linking curriculum learning to careers.
All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.
Benchmark 5: Encounters with emploers and employees.
Every student should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. This can be through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes.
Benchmark 6: Experiences of workplaces.
Every student should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and to expand their networks.
Benchmark 7: Encounters with further and higher education.
All students should understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes both academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace.
Benchmark 8: Personal guidance.
Every student should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a career adviser, who could be internal or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level. These should be available whenever significant study or career choices are being made.