Careers support for Coventry and Warwickshire students continues to improve despite the challenges of the lockdown and remote learning.

The Coventry & Warwickshire Careers Hubs, which were launched by The Careers & Enterprise Company, give every school and college in the area the opportunity to work with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to improve careers support for young people.

Since the Careers Hubs were established in 2019, they have worked with 77 schools and colleges out of 80 in Coventry and Warwickshire and the number who have fully achieved the Gatsby benchmarks – which are the best practice standards for careers support – has increased each year.

Providing good jobs and levelling-up opportunities is one of the key priorities of the CWLEP’s Strategic Reset Framework and includes promoting career pathways for key sectors as well as upskilling and re-skilling.

Nearly 5,000 students registered and took part in the Coventry & Warwickshire Virtual Career Show in March which provided guidance, support and information, and over 4,000 pupils attended a Virtual Work Experience Day in June to hear from a range of employers including Severn Trent, Green Square Accord, Farrans, Willmott Dixon, and Jaguar Land Rover with both events being organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).

The Warwickshire Careers Hub has been integrated with Warwickshire County Council’s Skills for Employment Programme to provide co-ordinated activity and both Careers Hubs are supported by CWLEP.

Marion Plant, chair of the CWLEP’s Productivity and Skills Business Group, said the Coventry & Warwickshire Careers Hubs helped students with their career choices in mainstream and special schools and Further Education colleges.

“Since introducing the Careers Hubs, the number of schools and colleges fully achieving the Gatsby benchmarks has increased in each of the eight benchmarks in our area which is fantastic,” she said.

“The Coventry & Warwickshire Careers Hubs used digital, virtual, and remote engagement to fit within the parameters we were all set by the world changing events over the last 18 months and they have continued to provide excellent careers provision.

“Even despite the pandemic, our average scores across the benchmarks have improved which illustrates the tremendous work being carried out by the Coventry & Warwickshire Careers Hubs.

“The importance of the two huge virtual events that have taken place this year should not be under-estimated because being able to offer this support at a time when careers fairs were not available has been hugely significant for young people making key Post 16 and 18 decisions.

“At a time when the future of LEPs is under scrutiny as we await the outcome of the Government’s Levelling-Up White Paper and Comprehensive Spending Review, this is a perfect example of the CWLEP making a key difference to the lives of young people in our area to develop their knowledge and skills.”

The current Government review of LEPs is examining how future local business organisations can best support the Plan for Growth with a specific focus on the UK’s transition to a Net Zero economy, boosting international trade, stimulating innovation, and exploiting local strengths and comparative economic advantage. The results will feed into the Levelling-Up White Paper due later this year.