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London Ambitions: a blueprint for the development of careers strategies in all regions?

The London Enterprise Panel, London Councils and the Greater London Authority have come together to launch their careers strategy for all young Londoners. This high profile political support has the potential to give added momentum to the initiative. Potentially too, the allocation of monies from the European Social Fund to deliver parts of the strategy will help it along. Is this an approach which could be adopted in other regions? A number of local enterprise partnerships have already developed or are embarking on their own schemes. With the prospect of additional funding and leadership from the Careers and Enterprise Company, we may be on the brink of a renaissance in careers education and guidance for young people.

What can we adapt and apply from the London Ambitions strategy to support this resurgence in other regions?

  • build local partnerships so your strategy has clout
  • base your strategy on a well-articulated view of the local labour market – London Ambitions has underpinned its strategy by analysing London’s global role and high-level skill needs. Its emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) and not STEM is very helpful
  • promote a clear vision of your strategy – London Ambitions has seven key elements to its strategy which is manageable! Part of one of those elements has already grabbed the headlines. This is the idea that 7-16-year-olds should have 100 hours experience of the world of work. The second part of that element – that young people should have a digitised portfolio to record their employability journey – has attracted less comment, perhaps, because people are less sure about how to make it work
  • open young people’s eyes early – London Ambitions recognises that the curriculum for careers education needs to start in key stage 2.

London schools will find the careers curriculum and resources in the London Ambitions report particularly helpful. It will also prove useful to organisations such as the Career Development Institute (CDI), the PSHE Association, the National STEM Centre, Young Enterprise and Teach First which have their own education-led careers and employability initiatives. The CDI, for example, has set up a working group to update the ACEG framework for careers and work-related education for England to take into account the changing context and new priorities for careers work.

The development of local initiatives for careers education and guidance in the English regions is welcome in many ways but, as Careers England points out, it makes more sense to have a co-ordinated national strategy backed up by local delivery.

Read London Ambitions: Shaping a successful careers offer for all Londoners here 

For a reaction to London Ambitions, read policy commentary 31 prepared for Careers England by Professor Tristram Hooley here

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