On 27th September the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) celebrated the work of schools, colleges, businesses, and careers professionals with its annual careers awards ceremony for 2019. Over 200 nominations were accepted for the 12 categories and the winners were chosen by a panel of independent expert judges at an awards ceremony at The Royal Society of Chemistry in London.
Sarah Barley, Trust Director of Employability, was announced the winner of ‘The Innovation of The Year Award’ for the work that she has done across The Education Alliance on The Employer Led Programme which was launched in 2016.
The Employer-Led Programme aims to develop employability skills in young people whilst they study for their GCSE or A Level qualifications. Students on the programme are given the opportunity to complete a full employability skills development programme, take part in an Industry Mentoring Scheme, attend masterclasses with local employers on career routes, personal branding, networking and other employability skills as well as going on work place visits and tours, getting involved in local competitions and initiatives and volunteering. Over 100 employer partners now work with The Education Alliance through the Employer-Led Programme offering mentoring, work placements or masterclass opportunities. Since its launch in 2016, 230 students have benefited from the programme across three trust schools; another 150 students have either applied or registered their interest for the 2019-20 programmes. The aim was to place employability skills at the heart of the curriculum to enable students to access the highest profile university courses or apprenticeships in the country. Those who have already completed the programme have secured some of the most competitive and high profile apprenticeships, university and college courses in the region.
Sarah Barley, Trust Director of Employability said “I am delighted with the result. The Employer Led Programme has now grown to achieve national recognition through The Careers and Enterprise Company which aims to develop careers programmes in schools and colleges and bridge the gap between education and employment across the UK. I am thrilled that The Education Alliance has been selected as having one of the most innovative careers programmes in the country. It’s a fantastic achievement for all of the staff and students involved in the programme."
The programme was commended for its ability to reach all of the Gatsby Benchmarks, a framework of eight guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges. Professor Sir John Homan, who researched and created these guidelines, was on the judging panel and praised the programme for its innovative approach.
Claudia Harris, chief executive of the Careers and Enterprise Company, said: “The organisations and individuals recognised are setting the bar in careers provision across England and changing the lives of the children they work with.“We are delighted to be able to celebrate their work and and look forward to seeing their continued impact in the years ahead."