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All children and young people dream of what they might become one day.

In North Yorkshire, schools are developing and broadening these aspirations as a motivation for learning by placing career guidance at the heart of the curriculum.

A pilot funded by North Yorkshire County Council and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, has involved 20 secondary schools across the county and York to improve careers guidance.

This has led to a close working relationship between schools and local employers with careers guidance increasingly woven into the curriculum.  It also places North Yorkshire well ahead in meeting the Government’s recent schools careers strategy and statutory requirements which will require workplace experience for every pupil.

Students at King James School Knaresborough, one of the pilot schools, are frequently reminded of where their learning might lead.

Students are given many chances to learn about the world of work through first-hand encounters with employers, with lessons held in the work-place, and by the school bringing in employers to speak about their industry.

Career guidance is embedded in the curriculum rather than an add-on – from the earliest stage of their secondary education, students are made very aware of where their studies might lead.

“Supporting students to explore future pathways, raise knowledge and understanding of career areas and demonstrating career links to curriculum subjects can be highly motivational and raise the aspirations of our students,” said Lucy Hazelton, Career & Alternative Curriculum Manager at King James.

Building on the pilot’s success, a further 20 schools are working to achieve the national Quality in Careers Standard and 58 schools are benefitting from working with 39 local business enterprise advisers supplied through the Careers Enterprise Company (CEC).

The CEC, working with North Yorkshire Business and Education Partnership (NYBEP) and the LEP is now bringing employers and schools together right across North Yorkshire to support young people.

As part of this employers including Sirius Minerals, GCHQ, Dale Power Solutions, Askew Brook and Burberry, are working closely with schools in Scarborough Filey and Whitby  to create a new range of schemes to support the next generation to make the right steps into training and employment.

These schemes, which form part of the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area Programme, are designed to help all young people have first class exposure to employment through initiatives involving senior business volunteers and alumni networks and committed employers.  They include the encouragement of girls into engineering, they also include integrating information about the importance of the cyber security industry into school lessons

The pilot project “Putting the learner first – progression for success’ has led to a whole range of initiatives across schools to bring careers into the curriculum.

These also include each curriculum faculty at Harrogate Grammar School having a careers ambassador; the development of the careers club at Ripon Grammar School to give students access to a wide range of employers and employees and the universities of Hull and York holding workshops in Selby High School.

The pilot project was the first of its kind nationally to use benchmarks developed by the Gatsby Charitable Organisation for good careers practice in schools and which are now compulsory as part of the Government’s new statutory guidance

The pilot was also the first to be evaluated nationally by the International Centre for Guidance Studies at the University of Derby which found increasing commitment from employers and schools to work together.

“There has been a real buy-in and a great deal of enthusiasm from employers and from schools as a result of this pilot” said Cllr Patrick Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Schools.  “Through day-to-day experience of work and employment in the curriculum, young people can understand why they have to learn the things they do and this can only help to raise achievement. We now have a model to roll out across the county.”

The report: Progression for Success: Evaluating North Yorkshire’s Innovative Career Guidance Project can be found here: http://derby.openrepository.com/derby/bitstream/10545/621985/7/North+Yorkshire+CC+Careers+Guidance+Full+Report+Dec+17.pdf

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