The Hertfordshire Careers Hub provides focused careers support to 26 secondary schools across Stevenage, North Herts and Welwyn Hatfield. It supplements the work of Hertfordshire’s Enterprise Adviser Network—a group of business leaders who volunteer with local schools and provide the voice of industry to help shape and deliver effective careers programmes.

Each hub school is measured against a national framework for good careers education, known as the Gatsby Benchmarks. They receive support to improve relationships with local employers, in order to better prepare young people for the world of work. To help with this, schools provide opportunities for students to interact with employers/employees and take part in workplace visits, and also work to make better and more tangible links between careers and the curriculum.

Baseline data from August 2019 indicates that prior to receiving additional support, hub schools were achieving on average three out of eight Gatsby Benchmarks. Two terms on, huge progress has been made towards the targets set by the Department for Education. 

Highlights include Knightfield School in Welwyn Garden City, which has gone from meeting one to meeting six benchmarks. Additionally, two hub schools have gone to meet all eight benchmarks, joining an elite group of just 4% of schools nationally to do so. The Hertfordshire Careers Hub was borne from a successful bid for funding by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) from the Careers and Enterprise Company, as part of a second wave of 20 careers hubs across England in 2019/20.

The hub is managed by Hertfordshire LEP and supported by a network of cornerstone employers that work individually and collectively to support schools and ensure good progress is being made. These employers include Airbus, MBDA, Morrison Utilities, NHS, Roche, Tesco and Willmott Dixon. All cornerstone employers are now embarking on a project to produce resources for students and teachers that highlight the link between job roles and English, maths and science.

As part of its delivery plan, Hertfordshire LEP has facilitated formal meetings and workshops for hub schools’ Careers Leaders to hear from guest speakers about the Gatsby Benchmarks, network with employers, and share ideas and best practice with their peers.

Andy Baker, HR Manager - Recruitment Early Careers at MBDA, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the Hertfordshire Careers Hub. Not only do we recognise the importance of supporting local schools’ careers programmes, we also have a responsibility to ensure that young people have a much better understanding of the world of work and the skills and qualities that will be needed in the future.”

Mark Lewis, Head Teacher at Thomas Alleyne School, Stevenage said: “High quality careers education is at the heart of the work we do at Thomas Alleyne. Through the Careers Hub we have been able to build closer partnerships with employers and other schools to further enhance our offer. We are really pleased to see the impact the Careers Hub is having on all the schools involved.”

Norman Jennings, Operations Director at Hertfordshire LEP, said: “The Careers Hub allows us to provide focused collaboration between employers and young people across our schools. It is vital to give young people a better understanding of what the world of work will look like, to help ensure they have a prosperous future.”

Any business that would like to support schools in the hub or in Hertfordshire should contact gareth.dace@hertfordshirelep.co.uk.