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Careers Boost for Young People

Primary school pupils to benefit from careers support and change to law will give more young people access to advice about technical education

  • New careers programme will open primary school children’s eyes to the world of future job possibilities and challenge stereotypes

  • Young people to benefit from new law so they learn about the variety of exciting career routes available to them including technical routes to jobs as well as academic

  • Part of government’s drive to make sure all young people get high quality advice to make informed choices on the skills needed for a successful career

Primary school pupils are to benefit from a new careers programme that will encourage them to think about future jobs early, whilst nurturing aspirations and challenging stereotypes.

Evidence shows that children start to form ideas about their future as they start primary school. By linking lessons in an age-appropriate way to different careers, training and skills, the programme will bring learning alive and inspire pupils about the world of work. It will also provide opportunities for pupils to meet employers and role models from a range of industries, helping to raise aspirations and link their learning to future skills, jobs and careers.

From 1 January, young people will also benefit from strengthened careers advice through a change in the law that will see all year 8- 13 pupils have at least six opportunities to meet a range of providers of technical education. By hearing directly from training providers, pupils will get to understand the full range of opportunities available to them, including apprenticeships, T Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications, not just a traditional academic route.

This builds on the requirement that every secondary school should offer their pupils at least one experience of a workplace by age 16 and a further work experience by age 18, giving them the opportunity to get a sense of the skills that are valued in the workplace to forge a great career.

The primary school scheme will be rolled out across 55 disadvantaged areas of the country where school outcomes are the weakest and have been for some time and delivers on a commitment in the Schools White Paper. It will support more than 600,000 pupils in over 2,200 primary schools, giving them the kick start they need to boost their ambitions, and is backed by £2.6 million.

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said:

To deliver the future workforce that this country needs, it is essential that careers advice and work experience helps young people from all backgrounds to climb the ladder of opportunity.
The changes we are making to boost our careers programme will raise ambitions from an early age for thousands of children in primary schools across the country, while providing opportunities to unlock talent, think about skills, engage with employers and discover different workplaces.

The new primary careers programme will be coordinated by The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC), working with Teach First who will provide training and support primary school teachers in disadvantaged areas to deliver the scheme to their pupils.

Oli de Botton, CEO of The Careers & Enterprise Company said:

I know from my time as a Headteacher how important it is to inspire young people about their future – raising their sights and dispelling stereotypes. Our new primary programme will bring careers inspiration to children early in their school life by connecting them with role models and showing them how different subjects relate to jobs.
This programme will develop the skills of teachers to deliver career-related learning in lessons. It will help young people from disadvantaged communities explore the world of work in exciting and meaningful ways, raising aspirations and reducing barriers - encouraging children to dream big.”

Note to Editors

  • The new primary school careers programme will run through to 2025 and will be delivered by four of CEC’s Careers Hubs in Year One, an additional 10 in Year Two and a further 9 in Year Three. The initiative will bring together primary schools in local areas and provide teachers with training delivered by Teach First – to support teachers to develop and deliver careers programmes.

  • In February 2022, we identified 55 Education Investment Areas (EIAs), previously referred to as ‘cold spots’. These are areas of the country where school outcomes are the weakest and have been for some time. In these EIAs, the Department for Education want to target investment, support and action that help children from all backgrounds and areas to succeed at the very highest levels.

  • The original provider access legislation (occasionally referred to as the ‘Baker Clause’) came into force in January 2018 and placed a new legal duty on all maintained schools and academies to publish a policy statement setting out opportunities for providers of technical education and apprenticeships to inform year 8-13 pupils about approved technical education qualifications or apprenticeships.

  • From 1 January 2023, strengthened provider access legislation came into force through the Skills and Post-16 Education Act making it a legal requirement for schools to ensure all year 8- 13 pupils have at least six opportunities to meet providers of approved technical education qualifications or apprenticeships.

  • Provider encounters are one of a number of activities that we expect schools to deliver under our careers framework, the Gatsby Benchmarks. We also expect secondary schools to offer every pupil at least one high-quality encounter with an employer, every year, from age 11 and offer every pupil at least one experience of a workplace by age 16 and a further experience by age 18.

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