There are currently 4.3 million young people aged 16-24 in the UK, but according to research around 12% of them are struggling to get work because of a lack of relevant work experience. In Cornwall the work of the Careers Hub has been praised for helping young people to increase their skills, through relevant work experience.
According to research by the Careers and Enterprise Company, called Closing the Gap, Cornwall has just been ranked as the highest performing area in the country for supporting business owners to create opportunities for young people. Through the Careers Hub (a project funded by Cornwall Council, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership and the Careers and Enterprise Company) and Education Business Partnership the number of work experience opportunities has increased by 15% since 2018.
Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, said: “We want all young people to have regular, inspiring, meaningful interactions with the world of work. Achieving this will help businesses broaden and diversify their talent pipeline. But it’s also about inspiring young people, promoting social mobility and giving every young person the opportunity to succeed.”
The relationship between businesses, schools and colleges is widely accepted to be crucial in the provision of world-class careers education. In recent years, the number of opportunities for young people to gain experience in their chosen career field has increased significantly, aided by a system of support and coordination.
Cabinet Member for Children and Well Being, Councillor Sally Hawken, said: “Gaining real life experience, working in the industry you choose is extremely important for young people. Not only does it help them to stand out from the crowd, but if their experience is a success they will be fired up to succeed.
“One particular scheme which stands out is the relationship between young people and Software Cornwall. Their project called ‘Mission to Mars’ has been selected by the European Space Agency to be included in their outreach model, which is brilliant recognition.
The Government’s Careers Strategy clearly places the relationship between employers and young people as a key factor of careers education.
Interim Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, John Yarham, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of the business community who are working in partnership with schools and colleges and making a real difference to the lives of young people – lifting aspiration and opportunity.”
There has been real progress made in careers education over the last two years. However, to meet The Government’s ambitions, we need to engage with more business owners and support them to open their doors to young people. If any employers are keen to work more closely with schools within the county please visit www.careershubcios.co.uk and register your interest.