Hertfordshire LEP has been successful in its bid to secure additional Government funding for the expansion of its Careers Hub. The funding was secured from a wider Government pot of £2.5m distributed amongst a select group of 20 LEPs across England to aid the development of the existing Careers Hub Network.

Hertfordshire Careers Hub was established in 2018 to provide local schools with targeted support to develop their careers education provision against key national benchmarks. Employers are vital to the hub model’s success, with all hubs required to demonstrate strong engagement amongst local businesses and a clear plan for increasing employer engagement. The Hertfordshire Careers Hub’s cornerstone employers include MBDA, Airbus, Morrison Utilities, Roche, Tesco, NHS East & North Herts Partnership and Willmott Dixon.

The hub complements the work of Hertfordshire LEP’s 106 school-strong Enterprise Adviser Network, part of the national Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) programme, which links employers with schools to provide greater careers-related opportunities for students, from work experience and mock assessments to employer talks and workplace visits.

26 schools in Stevenage, North Herts and Welwyn Hatfield have thusfar benefitted from participating in the Hertfordshire Careers Hub during the 2019/20 academic year. These schools will continue to receive support in 2020/21, and the additional funding secured will enable support to be expanded to a further 24 schools in Hertsmere, Watford and Three Rivers which will form a second cluster, also managed by Hertfordshire LEP and its team of Enterprise Co-ordinators.

The hub will enable Careers Leaders from each participating school to receive focused support in delivering the Gatsby Benchmarks and other key elements of Government’s Careers Strategy through a programme of workshops and networking sessions. Careers Leaders also benefit from greater opportunities to meet and share ideas and to form closer relationships with local employers, which subsequently creates windows for collaboration.

Evidence published by CEC in October 2019 indicates that participation in career hubs has a significant impact on levels of employer engagement and the improvement of overall careers education in schools and colleges. The report finds that:

  • Two thirds of hub schools and colleges run regular encounters with employers, compared to just over a third (36%) of schools and colleges outside the hub network
  • Nearly three in five hub schools and colleges run work experience, compared to around a third (35%) outside the hub network
  • Nearly two thirds of hub schools and colleges link careers education directly to the jobs market, compared to only three in ten outside the hub network

Gareth Dace, Careers Hub Lead at Hertfordshire LEP, said: “Hertfordshire Careers Hub is going from strength to strength and we are delighted that our successful bid for additional funding will allow more Hertfordshire schools to benefit from the targeted support it provides.

"We have seen careers provision in participating schools improve by leaps and bounds over the last academic year. Our schools in Stevenage, North Herts and Welwyn Hatfield have demonstrated the highest amounts of progress based on the Gatsby Benchmarks, with Stevenage schools in particular now achieving on average 5.7 full benchmarks (of a possible 8), significantly above the national average of 3.63. The strong appetite from many more schools to take part in the programme is testament to the strength of the Careers Hub model and our delivery of the Careers & Enterprise Company programme in Hertfordshire.”

We are always keen to hear from employers who would like to support our engagement with schools, either through the Careers Hub or our wider Enterprise Adviser Network. For more details please contact our Careers Hub Lead at gareth.dace@hertfordshirelep.co.uk.