Third year secured for Black Country careers initiative

Black Country Careers Hub awarded funding to extend successful programme.

Building on the success of the Black Country Careers Hubs, funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company and established in September 2018, the Black Country LEP have been granted an extension to funding which will allow all state-funded secondary schools and colleges to become part of the Black Country Careers Hub from September 20th.

The Black Country Careers Hubs connect local employers with careers leaders in schools and colleges to strengthen the careers education for young people. Resources are shared and developed which benefit all pupils and training and development of Careers Leaders is undertaken throughout the year supported by our Enterprise Advisers and Cornerstone Employers. To date, the Careers Hub has engaged with 96 schools and colleges and over 200 employers.

Nationally, the Black Country Careers Hubs are recognised as being hugely successful and the work undertaken by the team in partnership with Wolverhampton Council, Sandwell Connexions, Dudley Connexions, The Black Country Chamber of Commerce and SIPS education impacts on 96 Secondary Schools and Colleges.

Throughout the lockdown the Enterprise Advisers and Coordinators have continued working with schools and pupils offering additional support to parents and young people at those important transition points in their education through their website. The team and their partners have been offering a series of webinars, virtual interviews, news bulletins and careers homework.

The Cornerstone Employers: Wilmott Dixon, Thomas Dudley, Accord, KPMG, AF Blakemore, Sandwell Council, Walsall Council and Wolverhampton NHS Trust play a vital part in helping to shape the careers education of young people across our region working with the Careers Hub Manager and Lead to develop world class careers programmes which start from a young age and support that continues into their first steps of employment.

Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan said: “We want young people across the country to receive the best careers advice so they can get a head start in the world of work and go on to have successful careers.

“The expansion of our Careers Hubs will mean we are now supporting more than 2,200 schools and colleges, bringing them together with employers to provide high quality careers guidance. Now, more than ever, it’s vital young people make the most of their talents and are aware of the range of opportunities available. This is brilliant news and I look forward to hearing about the progress made.”

James Ludlow, Chair of the Black Country Careers Hub and Principal The King’s Church of England School, Wolverhampton said: “I am delighted to hear that funding has been secured that will enable all state funded secondary educational establishments in the Black Country to join the thriving Careers Hubs. Over the past two years, as Hub 1 and then Hub 2 have grown and developed, there have been a great improvement in the quality and breadth of careers provision across the region.

“Schools and colleges within the Hubs have seen significant increases and improvements in their career’s programmes and in the number of Gatsby Benchmarks that they have fully met. This has meant that more and more young people are now accessing high quality careers education, enabling them to make more informed choices about their future pathways. Just as importantly, the Careers Hubs are enabling the creation of a strong network of professionals in education and across the business community who are learning from one another and sharing their successful strategies for the benefit of all.

“The news that this will now include all secondary establishments across the region is extremely positive and represents another significant step forward for the future of the young people in the Black Country.”

Dee Kumari Apprentice, Volunteer and Work Placement Co-Ordinator Accord Group – Cornerstone Employer Black Country added: “It great to hear that support continues to thrive and grow within our CEC Black Country region and Accord are proud to support and engage with the diverse community of young people into the world of work and their future careers.”

Nationally, the impact of Careers Hubs on the careers support young people receive has been profound since the first hubs started in September 2018, covering 710 schools. That number grew to 1,300 schools in 2019.

You can find out more about the Black Country Careers Hub here.