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Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Careers Hub lead discussion on improving opportunities for young people

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Careers Hub supported by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have brought together over 100 Senior Leaders from schools and colleges, business leaders, the City and County Council, and the Careers and Enterprise Company at an event to set the vision for jobs and careers across the area.

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP Careers Hub is a cluster of 83 secondary schools and colleges working together with partners across the private, public, education and voluntary sectors to deliver and implement careers best practice. Everyone involved in the Careers Hub has a shared vision of how they will work together to improve outcomes for young people’s futures.

The event was a chance to share an update on the local and national careers landscape, particularly in light of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on young people, as well as set out the Department for Education (DfE) plans for careers, economic growth, and recovery. Focus was drawn upon the DfE Careers Strategy, Further Education (FE) White Paper Skills for Jobs, Statutory Guidance and where Careers Hubs can continue to be vehicles of support within the educational system in the local area.

Workshops took place throughout the day, bringing together career leaders and businesses to consider themes such as ‘school improvement through the lens of careers’ and how the schools and businesses can continue to work together to ensure progressive career programs for students, sufficiently preparing them for working life.

Paul Williams, Careers Hub and Network Manager, who led the event, said:

“It was amazing to see so many senior leaders from our education and business sectors working together to build a world class careers education system for our country, to support the rebuilding of our economy and impact our young people and future workforce.”

Alison Tucker, Education and Future Skills Adviser at St Modwen who took part in the event to demonstrate the role the private sector can play in helping to shape the careers of local young people, said:

“It was superb to be able to speak with local schools, colleges, and businesses in Stoke and Staffs and show how important the partnerships are to bring the skills of the future. Educating those who educate the ones shaping the aspirations of young people is essential for the industry to grow and be more sustainable.”

Alison Spencer, Assistant Head of School: Director of Post 16, John Taylor High School who also took part in the day said:

“Being part of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Careers Hub has been pivotal to the development of careers provision in our school. The Hub have shared good practice across their members resulting in a stronger focus on good quality provision. The annual event was a fantastic opportunity to share different models of school improvement and strategies to further develop careers provision to enhance the future opportunities of our young people. Educationists don’t always have many opportunities to talk to the people who will be employing their students in the future.

“One of the main benefits of attending this event was that I was able to network with members of industry and I feel I have a better understanding of the work that needs to take place to provide a more productive/effective workforce for the future. Something that educators cannot do alone and working in partnership with local employers will be essential. The Hub will play a very important role in building stronger connections between schools and employers for the future.”

Alun Rogers, Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent, and Staffordshire LEP said:

“It is great to see the LEP’s Careers Hub connecting schools and colleges with businesses across our area to make sure the next generation of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent’s workforce have the skills to match those that local employers need to grow and be ever more competitive.

“The past 18 months have been unprecedented, and it is absolutely central to the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP strategy that our future pipeline of skills drives economic growth.’’

Throughout the event, participants addressed future improvements for education with careers at the forefront and strengthening the vision of ensuring that every young person is supported in finding the next best steps for their career goal.

The Labour Market Information (LMI) platform specially developed for the local area, funded by Careers Hub and UniConnect will be available through the Careers Hub website, launching in early October.

For more information, visit: The Careers & Enterprise Company and StokeStaffsLEP | Careers guidance and employability