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A child’s future is no game

Why we need to rethink careers education

In life, you only play the hand you’re dealt. But when it comes to careers, for too many children from disadvantaged backgrounds the cards are stacked against them.  Imagine playing a game and being dealt fewer cards than your friends. You’ll soon fall behind and be without a chance of success.
Without access to work experience and high-quality careers advice, some children aren't even playing with a full hand.
New data from our latest report Rethinking careers education: investing in our country's future reveals some sobering statistics:


Statistic: Almost 8 in 10 teachers said their pupils are less ready for the world of work compared to previous years
Statistic: 72% of businesses are concerned by the lack of soft skills entering the job market
Statistic: Over half of teachers believe the pandemic has negatively affected how pupils see their career prospects
Two thirds of primary school teachers believe that careers learning will raise pupils' aspirations
However, we believe that with the right changes in schools and beyond, every child can pursue the career of their choice. We’re campaigning to make that happen. Here’s how we’re pushing the government and the business community to make the changes needed: 

Better careers education in primary schools

We’re calling on the Department for Education to develop a framework for careers education in primary schools that is aligned with the eight Gatsby benchmarks.

We’re asking for £8.5 million of funding to be made available to support the delivery of a blended careers programme for primary schools in areas of disadvantage. 

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The piece of advice that always stands out to me is to do something you are passionate about. This is something that I’ve always followed myself and would recommend to anyone that asks me.
Nadhim Zahawi,
Secretary of State for Education and Member of Parliament for Stratford-on-Avon

Greater effort from employers to improve social mobility

We’re encouraging all large employers to offer blended work experience programmes for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. We also believe they should collect socioeconomic background data and use it to inform their outreach work with schools and their recruitment and progression policies.

The government meanwhile should back young apprentices by fully funding all 16 to 18-year-olds and removing them from the Apprenticeship Levy. 

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Goldman Sachs and Teach First Careers Residential 2022

We want to level the playing field – our focus is developing all individual talent, no matter their background.
Janine Glasenberg,
Managing Director at Goldman Sachs

Further reforms

We’re also calling on the Department for Education to:

  • develop and launch a National Professional Qualification for Careers Education Leadership
  • build the evidence base on ‘What Works’ in careers education by funding randomised controlled trials
  • use destinations data to target additional transitional support at schools and colleges that serve disadvantaged communities.

Want to read our recommendations in full? Read our report:

Download (PDF)

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Careers Leader

All young people deserve good career guidance for success beyond school. Our programme gives secondary school middle and senior leaders the careers expertise to deliver it.

Registrations open for 2024
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Corporate partnerships

Before they set foot in the classroom, our country’s poorest schoolchildren are already on uneven ground. Doors are closed to them before they even know they exist. As a corporate partner, you have the power to open them.

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Schools and teachers need champions - through our campaigning, we speak out

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