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LEEDS CITY REGION ANNOUNCED AS THE UK’S FIRST CAREERS HUB TO HELP TRANSFORM CAREERS EDUCATION FOR SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITY PUPILS

Leeds City Region is to become one of 20 further Careers Hubs, following an announcement from the Secretary of State. The Careers Hubs will support schools and colleges to deliver careers advice to young people and give them opportunities to meet with local employers, visit the workplace and gain work experience.

After the success of the Kirklees Careers Hub, where 4 schools achieved all 8 Gatsby Career benchmarks, a national criteria for careers provision, which launched in September 2018, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has invited a further 30 schools and colleges across Leeds City Region to take part, specifically to support young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), making it the only Careers Hub to do this nationally.

The new Careers Hubs are based on a model first piloted from 2015 – 2017 which saw rapid progress in schools and colleges against the Gatsby Career Benchmarks, a scheme to define world class career guidance for schools and colleges nationally, and independent evaluation showed increased attainment and career readiness among students.

The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education, said:

“All young people deserve access to the same opportunities, regardless of their situation or background. Being able to make informed choices about their future is key to embarking on a prosperous career and being successful at work.

“This additional investment in a proven model will ensure that young people are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to fulfil their potential.

“We are investing in a careers education system that has quickly demonstrated real impact. The strong performance of the first wave of Careers Hubs in less than a year is excellent early progress for us to build upon.”

The expansion of the successful hub model follows news last year that careers support is improving across England and is now strongest in disadvantaged areas.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chairman of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership said:

“I’m delighted that Leeds City Region has been chosen to be the first place in the country to specifically focus on young people with special educational needs and disabilities.”

“The LEP is committed to delivering inclusive growth that benefits everyone and focusing our attention in this way ensures that the most disadvantaged are also getting the careers support they need to reach their future goals.”

“The recognition builds on our successful Enterprise in Education programme which has engaged with 90% of Leeds City Region schools since 2015, positively impacting almost 33,000 young people through employer encounters. I look forward to seeing this increase, so that together we can build a thriving economy that benefits all.”

Kirklees schools and colleges are amongst those in the first wave of Careers Hubs which are already outperforming the national average across all aspects of careers education.

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council and Chair of the Leeds City Region Inclusive Growth Panel said:

“The excellent work and commitment placed upon careers education in Kirklees over many years has been made possible by schools, colleges and the authority investing heavily in maintaining a universal and impartial service for all young people. With this foundation, and now the Kirklees Careers Hub, we’ve seen some fantastic results, including 4 schools to have reached all 8 Gatsby Career Benchmarks.”

“It’s crucial we include young people of all backgrounds and abilities when delivering careers support and I’m delighted that more young people across Leeds City Region will be given the opportunity to thrive.”

Schools and colleges will have access to support and funding, including an expert ‘Hub Lead’ to help coordinate activity and build networks, a central fund to support employer engagement activities, and training for a ‘Careers Leader’ in each school and college.

Employers are vital to the Hub model’s success, with all Hubs required to demonstrate strong engagement amongst local businesses and a clear plan for increasing employer engagement.

Research shows that a young person who has 4 or more encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training, and can earn up to 18% more in their career.

Employers are being asked to ‘give an hour’ of their time to inspire young people or commit further by joining the Enterprise Adviser Network. Join today.