News / Expansion of Careers Hub in Lancashire to Help Transform Careers Education and Support Skills Post Covid-19

Lancashire is part of a new wave of Careers Hub expansion plans announced by the Department for Education and The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC), extending coverage in local communities across England.

  • All 155 secondary schools and colleges in Lancashire will be able to be part of the Lancashire Careers Hub
  • Expansion of proven model supporting young people with their career decisions and the post-covid local skills agenda
  • Overall, more than 2,200 schools and colleges to be covered by Careers Hubs – nearly half of all state sectors

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will lead the Careers Hub locally, with their delivery partner Inspira, and has committed further funding, alongside Lancashire County Developments Ltd to support the expansion across the whole of the county.

The Lancashire Careers Hub will grow to 155 local secondary schools, including mainstream, SEND schools and alternative providers, and colleges working together with local employers, universities and training providers. 

The expansion in Lancashire builds on the Careers Hub pilot in Blackpool, Burnley and Pendle, delivered in partnership with 30 schools and colleges, and local employers since September 2018 and the existing Enterprise Adviser Network.

The Hub won Careers Hub of the Year in the national CEC awards in September 2019, recognising local leadership, the partnership, and excellence of career provision, paving the way for the expansion of the Hub to all institutions across the Lancashire area.

Schools and colleges 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.  Each school and college is also matched to a volunteer local business leader, who provides support to the institution to develop their careers plan, as well as engaging other businesses to provider inspirational encounters and experiences of the work place.  In Lancashire there are over 150 local business leaders inspiring our next generation, boosting social mobility and enabling young people to make informed decisions about their future careers.

The impact of Careers Hubs on the careers support young people receive has been profound since the first hubs started in September 2018, covering 710 schools. That number grew to 1,300 schools in 2019.

Working through a partnership approach with Local Enterprise Partnerships, schools, colleges, employers, and other local organisations, Careers Hubs have accelerated levels of support and improvement in young people’s career development.

Steve Fogg, Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership said:

“We are delighted that we are able to roll out our award winning Careers Hub to all Lancashire secondary schools and colleges, working collaboratively with business.  By offering high standards of careers provision, we are improving the job prospects of our young people and creating a pipeline of talent that our local businesses need to thrive.  In these challenging times, it is more important than ever to drive up aspiration and social mobility in our younger generation”

Careers Hubs have been at the forefront of efforts to respond to the initial period of lockdown, continuing to offer young people support with their career decision making. They were key partners in the recent national on-line virtual work experience week with CEC, Oak National Academy and Learn Live, where over 100,000 young people gained insights to a range of sectors through digital platforms.

The proven Careers Hub model will now play a critical role in supporting local skills development, and form part of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s local economic recovery plans.

Data collected shows that Career Hubs are accelerating overall careers education progress and performance by 56 per cent in 12 months. Key findings were:

  • 95% higher standard of performance in schools linked to Hubs over schools that are outside the careers network established by CEC.
  • Nationally, two third of schools and colleges in Hubs run regular encounters with employers, compared with just over a third (36%) in schools and colleges outside the network.In Lancashire 97% schools and colleges in the Hub provide regular meaningful encounters with employers.
  • Nationally, nearly three in five schools and colleges in Hubs run work experience compared to around a third (35%) outside the network, in Lancashire 80% provide a combination of work place visits and work experience.

Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan said:

“We want young people across the country to receive the best careers advice so they can get a head start in the world of work and go on to have successful careers.

“The expansion of our Careers Hubs will mean we are now supporting more than 2,200 schools and colleges, bringing them together with employers to provide high quality careers guidance.

“Now, more than ever, it is vital young people make the most of their talents and are aware of the range of opportunities available. This is brilliant news and I look forward to hearing about the progress made.”

John Yarham, Interim CEO of The Careers & Enterprise Company said:

“Careers Hubs drive accelerated performance in careers education and have proven particularly robust and resilient during the covid-19 crisis, continuing to support young people in local communities.

“Careers Hubs bring people together. They create a powerful partnership between schools, colleges, employers and local agencies focused on improving skills and opportunity for young people, tailored to local need – nationally led, locally developed and delivered.

“This partnership is a critical point of difference from the past and means we are better positioned to weather the storm and help our next generation navigate the choppy waters ahead.

“Schools, colleges and young people have a real time connection to the changing jobs market – opening opportunity in areas that are emerging the strongest and growing the fastest. What this means is we have the opportunity to more closely match real people to real jobs in real time. It is a proven robust and sustainable model for the needs of now and into the future.”

Jane Cole, CEO of Blackpool Transport said:

“Being a Cornerstone Employer within the Lancashire Careers Hub gives us the opportunity to directly engage with students and teachers to introduce key messages around the world of work.

Our local school children are our future customers and employees and we are very proud to work together to raise aspirations and make a real difference.”

Peter Caney, Head of Early Careers & Skills (Service Transformation) at BAE Systems said:

“The Lancashire Careers Hub has created powerful relationships between employers and education. It has helped us at BAE Systems connect with and support young people in our community, reach out and attract a diversity of talent and develop new skills and rewarding experiences within our teams, that ultimately deliver broader business benefits. I’d encourage all employers to get involved and make a difference to the lives of our next generation, particularly in these challenging times.”

Helen McVey, Chief Executive of Pendleside Hospice said:

“Being a Cornerstone Employer within the Lancashire Careers Hub gives us the opportunity to directly engage with students and teachers to introduce key messages around the world of work.

Our local school children are our future employees and we are very proud to work together to raise aspirations and make a real difference.”

Mark Bowman, Chief Executive of Inspira said:

“The expansion of the Careers Hub across Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool is a fantastic achievement and testament to the success of the current Careers Hub covering Burnley, Pendle and Blackpool.  The support and enthusiasm for the Careers Hub from both employers and educators in our drive to create a lasting partnership is great.  Inspira are delighted to work alongside Lancashire LEP and the Careers and Enterprise Company to expand the Careers Hub model”.

Ruth England, Head Teacher of Shuttleworth College and Lead Head Teacher for the Careers Hub said:

”As Lead Head Teacher for the pilot Careers Hub, I have seen first-hand the impact that excellent careers provision and interactions with employers can have on my own pupils, but also those in partner schools and colleges across the Hub.  The partnership between the LEP, employers, the Hub team with Inspira and the Careers Leaders in the educational establishments has made a significant difference.  I am delighted that we now have the opportunity to widen the community of practice across the whole of Lancashire, boosting every young person’s aspiration and social mobility.”

Expansion of Careers Hub in Lancashire to Help Transform Careers Education and Support Skills Post Covid-19