At the Gatsby Foundation we have a long-standing interest in careers guidance and are driven by our belief that each and every young person should experience the very best careers provision. Our commitment to this work is as strong today as it has ever been.
Much has been achieved in the decade since the publication of our ‘Good Career Guidance’ report in 2014. Based on international evidence of what works, the study defined ‘what good looks like’ and introduced the framework of eight Benchmarks, establishing a common language for educators and employers that has been widely adopted. The framework continues to thrive today and is the golden thread that binds the system together.
The key levers of careers leadership and regional facilitation, identified in our north-east pilot (2015–2017), underpin many of the important developments we’ve seen in careers over the last decade. Today, every school and college must have a named careers leader and schools and colleges can access an infrastructure of support through career hubs. We know that when a careers leader is trained, and when a school or college is in a careers hub, they achieve more Benchmarks. This is important because higher Benchmark achievement leads to improved outcomes for young people.
Whilst ‘Good Career Guidance’ provides a framework for schools and colleges to measure and develop their careers provision, the ultimate beneficiaries are, quite rightly, the young people themselves. There is growing evidence that implementing the Benchmarks reduces the likelihood of young people becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training), increases the uptake of apprenticeships, improves career readiness and, most importantly, has the biggest effect on those young people in the most disadvantaged circumstances.
We are delighted that the Gatsby Benchmarks are now the bedrock of school and college career programmes and are encouraged by the progress that schools and colleges are making. We have seen widespread implementation and impressive innovation and, with the Benchmarks at the heart of our system, millions more young people are benefitting from rich experiences with employers. Our aligned collective efforts right across the sector are having an impact and we want this to continue.
That’s why at Gatsby we are looking ahead to the next ten years of good career guidance. We feel the time is right to capture approaches to implementation in schools, colleges and training providers and to consider changes in the education system, evolutions in working practices and the needs of the wider labour market. This will help us to unpick any challenges that remain and secure the impact and stability of the Benchmarks for the decade ahead.
2023 will be a year of consultation and evidence gathering here at Gatsby. We are delighted to be working with the International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) as our academic research partner for this work, which we are calling ‘Good Career Guidance: The Next Ten Years’. And we’d love you to be involved.
We are keen to gather perceptions and insights from those of you who support the careers guidance of young people across education, business and the careers sector through our open consultation. We are seeking to understand how the Benchmarks are used in practice, what users value most about them, the impact they are having, and if there are any suggestions as to how they could have even greater impact.
If you want to shape ‘Good Career Guidance: The Next Ten Years’ then please do take this opportunity to share your perspective with us via our consultation survey. The consultation will remain open until 5pm on Friday 28 April 2023.
Read more about The Gatsby Foundation’s work on ‘Good Career Guidance: The Next Ten Years’ here.
Ryan Gibson is Senior Advisor for Careers at The Gatsby Foundation. He is leading Gatsby’s work on ‘Good Career Guidance: The Next Ten Years’ and works as part of Gatsby’s Careers Team, led by Beth Jones.