Are you an experienced Career Leader wanting to develop your programme, or have you just been tasked with taking on responsibility for careers at your school or college and don’t know where to start?
Here are five top tips to help you get started with your careers provision!
1 What makes a good careers programme?
The Gatsby Charitable Foundation summarised the evidence base and identified eight benchmarks to support each student or learner in preparing for their future:
1. A Stable Careers Programme
2. Learning from Career and Labour Market Information
3. Addressing the Needs of Each Pupil
4. Linking Curriculum Learning to Careers
5. Encounters with Employers and Employees
6. Experiences of Workplaces
7. Encounters with Further and Higher Education
8. Personal Guidance
2 Teaching and Learning Strategies
When thinking about how best to deliver these activities, bear in mind the following points drawn from recent research findings:
- Keep it fun – well-paced and varied, some competition or challenge, attractive materials
- Make it active – active and participative, small group work opportunities for discussion and feedback
- Root it in experience – first-hand experience of the world of work e.g. work experience and ‘insights’ from insiders; and tasters of where they might train or study
- Frame it and connect it – ensure that activities flow from an explicit model of career learning and development in which the different elements have good timing, sequencing and progression. Information and guidance resources (including electronic materials) have greater impact when guidance is used to mediate their use
- Give it the right ethos – young people want to feel that the careers education they receive is objective and even-handed, treated seriously, delivered by experts and that it respects their sensitivities
3 Budget allocations
Planning for and setting a budget will be part of a cycle of financial decisions
within the school or college. It is possible that you will need to create a CEIAG
development plan that links to your priorities from the table DEVELOPING CAREERS WORK: a review framework. You need to find out the timing of budget allocations, the documents required, and the headings.
4 Impartial guidance is a statutory requirement
This means providing information on the full range of education or training options including apprenticeships and other vocational pathways in an impartial manner that promotes the best interests of students. Therefore a school that interviews students in Year 11 and only explains options available in its sixth form is not meeting the statutory requirements. There are conflicting interests between funding streams based on student numbers, and providing impartial guidance, but the latter has to be forefront.
5 Differentiating the programme
Differentiation is also essential to ensure that a programme meets individual needs, whether through extra support or stretch. Research identified that a range of work experiences is extremely valuable for students who do not know in which area to direct their talents, along with access to extensive and impartial careers information. This should be discussed with relevant staff such as the SENCo or academically able co-coordinator.
For more information on careers advice please download our most recent careers toolkit here