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Cumbria gets green light for Careers Hub to help transform careers education

The drive to improve career development opportunities for young people in Cumbria has been given a boost, with confirmation the county will host one of 20 Careers Hubs to be piloted in England.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership has been working with the Careers and Enterprise Company and local education and skills partners, employers and stakeholders on a bid to establish the county’s own Careers Hub which will help transform careers education for young people.

It dovetails with the development of a new careers strategy which is being led by Cumbria LEP’s Employment and Skills Advisory Group, with backing from local businesses schools and colleges. It aims to deliver a programme of careers education, including advice and guidance as well as work experience, and give young people access to better information about employment options.

A Careers Hub is a group of 20 to 40 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 which aims to improve careers education and help prepare young people for the world of work.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership chief executive Jo Lappin says: “This is great news for young people and employers in Cumbria, especially as we have been chosen as one of only 20 hubs being set up across the country.

“It means young people will have more and better access to effective work experiences by connecting schools and colleges with employers and careers programme providers.

“Establishing a Careers Hub will help us accelerate our careers strategy and quickly build on the growth and success of our Enterprise Advisor Network. It could also result in additional resources becoming available to support local schools and colleges implementing the Department for Education’s National Careers Strategy.”

The Government asked the Careers & Enterprise Company to scale up a model successfully piloted in the North East by establishing 20 Careers Hubs across the country, allocating £5 million over a two-year period to support them.

The Cumbria Careers Hub will have access to support and funding to help meet the eight Gatsby Benchmarks of excellent careers education. This includes:
• A ‘Hub Lead’ to help co-ordinate 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.

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.”

Cumbria LEP’s aim is to work with the Career and Enterprise Company to act as a catalyst in the fragmented landscape of careers and enterprise, supporting programmes that work, filling gaps in skills provision and ensuring better coverage across the county.

Through employer engagement and events like #generatingsolutions, Cumbria LEP is developing approaches to support careers education. Working in partnership with the Careers and Enterprise Company, Inspira and employers, it has already established the Enterprise Advisor Network in Cumbria to support the development of careers education in all secondary schools and colleges across the county.

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