Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership has been selected as one of 20 areas across country to receive a boost in preparing young people for world of work.
The LEP is to become one of 20 ‘Careers Hubs’ around England to help transform careers education for young people.
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Careers Hub will be made up of 20 local schools and colleges working 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.
The Government asked The Careers & Enterprise Company to scale up a model successfully piloted in the North East by establishing 20 Careers Hubs in Local Enterprise Partnership areas across the country, allocating £5 million over a two-year period to support the Hubs.
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Hub will have access to support and funding to help it 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 £1,000 per school or college
- Access to funding for schools to support employer encounters
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman David Frost CBE said: “The LEP’s key aims include raising skills levels and creating more and better paid jobs in priority sectors of our local economy such as advanced manufacturing and technology.
“The new Careers Hub will play an important role in informing and equipping young people so that they can take full advantage of the fulfilling and rewarding careers of the future, develop their skills and help our area prosper.”
Wendy Dean, the LEP board member leading on education and skills, commented: “We are delighted that Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire has been selected to develop a Careers Hub. It will assist us in linking local employers with all the education and training providers, from schools to universities, and ensure that our young people get the best possible careers education.”
Councillor Janine Bridges, cabinet member for education and economy at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “We’re delighted that Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire have been successful in bidding for a Careers Hub. We are committed to making sure our young people have many opportunities to develop and achieve their aspirations. The Careers Hub is a great step forward for this. We are one of only 20 Local Enterprise Partnerships across the country that has been given hub status and it will allow us to give top quality careers advice to our young people.
“A number of secondary schools across the city will be members of the hub, and will benefit from links with universities, training providers and employers, as well as support from dedicated careers professionals.
“The hub will help to make sure that our young people are well prepared for the future, can source high quality opportunities and make the most of the options available to them.”
Councillor Philip White, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for education and learning, said: “It is hugely important that young people in Staffordshire are as prepared as they can be when they begin their careers. By improving facilities in schools and colleges and building professional networks between them and industry we can make sure people entering the workplace get the best start.
“This will complement the successful work already taking place with the advanced manufacturing and engineering skills hub, providing the learning opportunities necessary to enter employment in our key sector industries.”
Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “We’re excited by the potential impact of the Hubs. If employers, schools and colleges can better prepare young people for the world of work, we’re not just benefiting the future economy, but improving prospects for thousands of young people.”