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Myerscough College awarded all eight Gatsby Benchmarks

Monday 25 Nov 2019

Myerscough College has been awarded all eight Gatsby Benchmarks – a measure of having excellent practice in careers advice and guidance.

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The Gatsby Benchmarks provide a framework for career guidance, outlining the experiences and information each and every young person should have access to so that they can make an informed decision about their future.

Overseen by the Careers & Enterprise Company, education providers are required by law to publish details of their careers programmes, as well as having a dedicated careers leader in place to oversee their operations. And by the end of 2020, they will also be required to offer every student at least two of what’s known as “meaningful encounters” with employers during their studies, every year. Recent research published by the Careers and Enterprise Company, clearly details how Careers Leaders have worked to improve CEIAG and inspire and engage in new ways, with 88% saying that Careers Leaders have had a positive impact on young people’s outcomes and 94% say that the Gatsby Benchmarks have helped to improve careers guidance.

This includes students attending careers events, participating in workshops or mock interviews, mentoring, business games or enterprise competitions. At least one of the “encounters” should be related to learners’ area of study.

The Gatsby Benchmarks reflect international best careers practice, with eight separate areas of assessment – a stable careers programme, learning from career and labour market information, addressing the needs of each student, linking curriculum learning to careers, encounters with employers and employees, experiences of workplaces, encounters with further and higher education, and personal guidance.

Jackie Hough, Myerscough’s Career’s Leader, said: ‘’We are amongst the first in the country to achieve this accolade and view this as confirmation of how embedded our CEIAG is within the College, and also how we are still working to find new and innovative ways of engaging and empowering our students in taking control of their future.

‘’Working with the Lancashire Enterprise Adviser Network, Myerscough learners are given more opportunities to get to know the world of work, understand what work is, explore options and help to build real confidence about their future.’’

“Engaging our students in believing that they can take control of their future and to realise just how many transferable skills they have, is one of the many reasons that I love my job!”

“I am very excited to be part of a case study project with the CEC, as they explore our methodology in working with benchmark six and it was lovely to hear the researcher say that my passion for excellence for the College and for our students was clear to see.”

The Gatsby Benchmarks are:

  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 pupils, parents, teachers and employers.

  1. Learning from career and labour market information

Every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good-quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. They will need the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information.

  1. Addressing the needs of each pupil

Pupils have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each pupil. A school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.

  1. Linking curriculum learning to careers

All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. For example, STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.

  1. Encounters with employers and employees

Every pupil 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.

  1. Experiences of workplaces

Every pupil 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 expand their networks.

  1. Encounters with further and higher education

All pupils 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.

  1. Personal guidance

Every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a careers adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level. These should be available whenever significant study or career choices are being made. They should be expected for all pupils but should be timed to meet their individual needs.

Schools and colleges in England that are part of the network are matched with a local Enterprise Adviser, to assist in moving careers activity forward using their connections in the business community, using their contacts to plan effective careers provision guided by the Gatsby

The Lancashire Enterprise Adviser Network is co-funded by Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Careers & Enterprise Company, is being delivered in Lancashire on behalf of Lancashire LEP by local delivery partner, Inspira.

by Dave Salmon