The transformation of careers education for young people across Cumbria has begun with the launch of a New Careers Hub – one of only 20 to be piloted across England.
Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) launched the Cumbria Careers Hub at an event attended by more than 100 education and business leaders from across the county on Tuesday.
The Cumbria Careers Hub is a group of 40 local schools and colleges working together with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to improve careers education in the county.
Its primary objective is to better prepare our young people for the world of work.
The launch event – which took place at CLEP’s headquarters at Redhills near Penrith – included a keynote speech from chief executive of the Careers and Enterprise Company, Claudia Harris, who outlined the importance of career hubs in helping to deliver a national policy focused on increasing productivity and ensuring all young people had access to quality careers education.
Presentations also came from CLEP chief executive Jo Lappin and principal of Kendal College, Kelvin Nash, who is also chair of the Cumbria Careers Hub Advisory Group, which will link education providers across the county.
Kendal-based Roger Wilson of Roger J Wilson Associates – the winner of a 2018 National CEC Enterprise adviser award – and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s head of skills and talent, Jacq Longrigg, gave an employer’s perspective of the importance of the Enterprise Adviser Network, which sees employers deliver inspiring and engaging careers education in schools and colleges in the county.
Meanwhile, Al Wilson of the Centre for Leadership Performance highlighted the stories of young people who participated in the Dream Placement scheme, will helps open up the wide range of career opportunities at major employers with sixth form students.
Caroline Ledward, manager at Cumbria Careers Hub, said: "Working with the Careers and Enterprise Company, local education and skills providers and employers, our aim is to provide more support to schools and colleges in developing high quality careers and enterprise education programmes."
"We want to build on excellent practice evident in parts of the county to secure greater consistency and depth in the quality of careers education and guidance."
"By doing so, we will give young people better access to the world of work through intervention such as work experience and connecting schools and colleges with employers and careers programme providers."
At the event Mrs Harris revealed her desire to see Cumbria Careers Hub lead the way nationally and praised the collaborative approach to tackling the pressing issue of skilling and retaining young people in the county.
"The Careers & Enterprise Company will be working closely with Cumbria LEP to ensure the new Careers Hub is a real catalyst in bringing together the fragmented landscape of careers and enterprise, supporting programmes that work and filling gaps in skills provision," she said.
The Cumbria Careers Hub will have access to support and funding to help meet the eight Gatsby Benchmarks of excellent careers education. It will also dovetail with the Government’s Careers Strategy to improve the links between employers and education and has backing from local businesses, schools and colleges.
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