Pupils from an increasing number of schools across Wiltshire will be able to access careers advice to help prepare them for the world of work from next month.

Last September, the Careers and Enterprise Company launched the first 20 Careers Hubs across England. Each Hub brings together a group of up to 40 schools and colleges to improve careers support for young people in their area.

Following a successful bid by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), the scheme has been extended and from July, will include 29 schools and colleges in Wiltshire, as well as every secondary school and college setting in Swindon. The SWLEP is a partnership between Swindon Borough Council, Wiltshire Council and business.

The participating schools are –

Abbeyfield School
Avon Valley College
Bradon Forest School
Devizes School
Fairfield Farm College
Hardenhuish School
Kingdown School
Malmesbury School
Matravers School
Pewsey Vale School
Royal Wootton Bassett Academy
Sarum Academy
Sheldon School
South Wilts Grammar School for Girls
St Edmund’s Girls’ School
St John’s Marlborough
St Joseph’s Catholic School
St Laurence School
The John Bentley School
The John of Gaunt School
The Trafalgar School at Downton
The Wellington Academy
Wiltshire College

Councillor Russell Holland, Deputy Leader of Swindon Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and Education and Skills, said, “This is part of the wider work we are doing with our schools to improve attainment, progression and reduce NEETs.

“This bid means that all our school and college settings are now part of the Careers Hub and will have access to resources and support to achieve the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks which define good Careers Education Information, Advice and Guidance.”

Careers Hubs are a central part of the Government’s Careers Strategy. The strategy aims to improve careers education and help prepare young people for the world of work.

The Swindon & Wiltshire Careers Hub, like others across the country, has access to support and funding to help them meet high standards of careers education.

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) were invited to lead bids to establish Careers Hubs.

Laura Mayes, cabinet member for education and skills at Wiltshire Council, said, “This initiative is already having a positive impact in our Wiltshire schools and I’m delighted this additional funding will mean we can roll this out across all our secondary schools and ensure more young people can benefit.

“There are already links with more than 50 employers in the Swindon and Wiltshire area but this will give us an opportunity to work with even more employers and widen the scope with further education and higher education to help students maximise their attainment and progression opportunities.”

Amanda Burnside, board member of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and chair of the Skills and Talent Sub-group, added, “Enabling businesses to have an appropriately skilled and competitive workforce to support growth, innovation and creativity remains an investment priority for the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP).

“I am delighted that our bid was successful as it will enable the Swindon & Wiltshire Careers Hub to extend the good work that is already happening between schools and employers, so that together we provide the workforce and skills needed now and in the future for strong economic growth.”