Collaborating with businesses will support London youngsters in making best career choices

Press Release

Friday 24 November 2017

New research offers recommendations for schools and colleges to improve the quality of career guidance in the capital.

Encouraging and supporting businesses to become involved in education is seen as a priority for London’s schools and colleges, according to a new report released today by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and London Councils.

The report, London Ambitions Research: Shaping a Successful Careers Offer for all Young Londoners, found that this involvement is key for schools and colleges, helping them develop careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) for London’s youngsters. Those schools and colleges which proactively made links with employers, highlighted this as important in widening students’ horizons and in offering them the opportunity to develop their employability and transferable skills.

Researchers also found that senior school and college leaders value CEIAG and support its development and profile within the institutional ethos. Senior leaders support the use of curriculum time to support its advancement and recognise that developing and delivering high quality CEIAG is important.

Additionally, the report also recommends that schools and colleges should:

  • ensure they provide young people with meaningful learning experiences about the world of work to help guide them in their choices for their futures
  • prioritise careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) and embed CEIAG as a ‘whole-school approach’
  • engage in more dialogue about careers strategies and provision within, and between, institutions.

The publication of the report coincides with Skills London – the UK’s biggest jobs and careers event for 15-24 year olds and their families taking place on 24-25 November at ExCel London. With over 200 exhibitors including top employers, the two-day event offers businesses an opportunity to engage with young people and inspire them to explore the variety of careers London has to offer. It also gives young people the chance to understand London’s labour market so they can make informed choices to help them succeed in London and/or beyond.

Cllr Peter John OBE, Deputy Chair of London Councils and Executive member for business, skills and Brexit, said, “With youth unemployment in the capital at 9 per cent we know that more can be done to ensure our young people are well-equipped for their future careers. NFER’s report reinforces the importance of London schools, colleges and businesses working together to deliver a successful careers offer for all young Londoners.

“It is encouraging that young Londoners are already starting to reap the rewards of schools and colleges working more closely with businesses. They can do more by signing up to the London Ambitions Portal, a website that links schools and colleges with local businesses, as well as getting further inspiration from the London Ambitions Careers Curriculum.

The findings of NFER’s report support the seven key recommendations of ‘London Ambitions: Shaping a successful careers offer for all young Londoners’, published in 2015, which envisioned every young Londoner completing at least 100 hours of experiences of the world of work by the time they are 16. It also advised schools and colleges to collaborate on careers education with local businesses.

Alongside the NFER report, an accessible guide has been created for senior leaders and teachers, which provides evidence-based illustrations of the delivery of careers education guidance within some London schools and colleges.

Author Tami McCrone, senior research manager at NFER, said, “The schools and colleges we spoke to have already made significant steps in providing a high quality CEIAG programme for their students. This report emphasises that giving CEIAG a priority in schools and colleges is important in raising aspirations and motivation in young people to succeed in the world of work. Many young people do not realise what a job involves so enhancing business partnerships will help young people make the right choices regarding their education and employment opportunities. Young Londoners need to be prepared for the opportunities that the city can offer and good CEIAG can help support that.