Pupils at 16 schools and colleges across Swindon will benefit from a new initiative to improve careers education and help prepare young people for the world of work.
Swindon and Wiltshire has been selected as one of 20 areas across the country to receive government funding for a Careers Hub, which will see schools work together with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to improve careers education.
Careers Hubs are a central part of the Government’s Careers Strategy, published in December. The strategy aims to improve careers education and help prepare young people for the world of work.
A total of 40 schools across the county will benefit from the Swindon and Wiltshire Careers Hub, which is based on a model successfully piloted in the North East of England by The Careers & Enterprise Company.
The new Hubs will be supported with £5 million of funding from the Government over the next two years.
The Swindon & Wiltshire Careers Hub will have access to support and funding to help them meet the eight Gatsby Benchmarks of excellent careers education. This includes:
• A ‘Hub Lead’ to help coordinate activity and build networks
• Access to bursaries for individual schools and colleges to train ‘careers leaders’
• Central Hub Fund equivalent to around £1k per school or college
• Access to funding for schools to support employer encounters
Councillor Oliver Donachie, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Prosperity, said: “This is fantastic news for young people in Swindon and Wiltshire as it will help to ensure they receive the very best support and advice when they come to make those important decisions about their futures.”
“A lot of good work on careers education already takes place, but this new Hub will use that foundation to continue raising aspirations, attainment and progression among our young people in Swindon.
Amanda Burnside, board member of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and chair of the Skills and Talent Sub-group, said: “Enabling businesses to have an appropriately skilled and competitive workforce to support growth, innovation and creativity remains an investment priority for the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP).
“The Swindon & Wiltshire Careers Hub will build on the good work that is already happening between schools and employers such as The Enterprise Advisor Network, so that together we provide the workforce and skills needed now and in the future for strong economic growth.”
A competitive and open bidding process was launched nationally in April, and the Hubs will launch in September. A total of 30 out of 39 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas applied to become Careers Hubs.
The Careers & Enterprise Company evaluated bids according to the level of need in an area, the wider benefit of the proposals to the area and the strength of leadership. All bids were moderated by independent assessors.