What we’ve done
Our published target to align with our priority to increase access to rewarding careers was that by 2021, every Bradford eleven to eighteen year old to have had the opportunity to benefit from at least four meaningful encounters with employers. This will equate to 150,000 encounters with employers. We have met this target by providing over 200,000 employer encounters have been delivered to 11-18 year olds (equating to over 4 per pupil in Bradford) through our partnership with the Careers and Enterprise Company.
As an OA, Bradford’s schools are already guaranteed support to improve the quality of their careers and enterprise education. Schools are now using the Careers and Enterprise Company’s (CEC) ‘Compass’ tool to assess the quality of their careers provision. Each school and college will have access to an Enterprise Adviser (a senior volunteer from business), who will help to develop relationships with other local employers. To embed best practice in careers and employability, we will train careers leaders in schools to ensure that the action on careers and enterprise education, as described by the Gatsby benchmarks, remain a priority for senior leaders and governors.
Primary Careers programme
To tackle career stereotyping and improve career awareness in primary curricula, the Bradford Opportunity Area launched the Primary Careers programme. The programme, made up of two linked elements of delivery – networking events and the Aspiration Fund – were aimed at enabling primary schools in Bradford to improve their careers education, raise aspirations and tackle gender and cultural stereotypes in regard to careers.
Networking events were aimed at supporting primary schools to build effective, sustainable networks with businesses and higher education providers to be utilised to improve and increase employer contacts. Whilst the Aspiration Fund aimed to improve focus on, provide an incentive to and remove the financial barriers to Bradford primary schools in disadvantaged areas delivering aspiration events that are embedded into the school curricula and will have a sustained impact on improving careers education within participating schools.
Careers Leader training & Quality in Careers (QIC) Standard
We also promoted Bradford’s careers leaders to take advantage of the Careers and Enterprise Company’s (CEC) Careers Leader training, designed to support careers leaders and practitioners in schools to build a progressive and embedded careers programme with career learning outcomes supported by a strategic career plan. The course aims to add value and capacity to school leadership by embedding careers learning into whole school priorities and vision. The CEC usually subsidises this training for schools, however, to ensure all Bradford schools that were interested in taking up the offer of training, could do so, the Bradford Opportunity Area decided to fund the full cost of the training.
We too, funded 10 Bradford secondary schools and Bradford College to undertake accreditation against the Quality in Careers (QIC) standard. No Bradford secondary school nor further education institution held this accreditation at the time. The QIC standard is important, as it is the national quality award for careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) in schools, colleges and work-based learning. It is fully aligned with the Gatsby Benchmarks for “Good Career Guidance” and fully complies with the Department for Education’s ‘statutory guidance’, which “strongly recommends” all secondary schools to work towards and achieve the national Quality in Careers Standard.