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Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC)

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Set up by the Department for Education in 2014, the Careers and Enterprise Company's (CEC) role is to link schools and colleges to employers and to help them deliver world-class careers support for all young people.

The CEC has three core strands of works around this:

  1. Building networks: linking schools and colleges to employers and other external careers providers through the enterprise adviser network and careers hubs
  2. Supporting careers leaders: providing training and support for Careers Leaders in schools and colleges.
  3. Backing the Gatsby Benchmarks: supporting implementation of a best practice standard for careers support and the Gatsby Benchmarks, with tools and targeted funding. 

CEC toolkits

Detailed explanations of the eight benchmarks, along with practical tips and examples of best practice can be found in the CEC's toolkits. There are three versions of the toolkit:  one for schools, one for colleges and one for special educational needs and disabilities. The CEC also has general Gatsby Benchmark FAQs.

Primary fund

The primary fund intends to build the evidence base to better understand the impact of career-related learning activities with primary school children, including good practice to be promoted at primary level.

Primary Futures, developed by NAHT and the Education and Employers charity, has been awarded funding by the CEC to expand its programme over the coming year. As part of the fund, the CEC is also developing a primary school toolkit, with support and input from NAHT and its members, through the primary advisory group. 

Latest news and updates

CEC launches its State of the Nation report 2019

This year's State of the Nation indicated improvements in careers education: schools and colleges that have completed Compass twice achieve a mean average of 3.2 out of eight benchmarks, an increase of more than 50% since 2017.

Progress has been particularly strong on 'Encounters with employers and employees', 'Linking curriculum learning to careers', establishing 'A stable careers programme' and 'Encounters with further and higher education. You can access the full research here.

New research from the CEC highlights the impact of careers leaders

Carried out on behalf of the Gatsby Foundation and the CEC, the research is based on a survey of 750 secondary school careers leaders. The research has shown that substantial progress has been made by schools in embracing the role of careers leaders: 42% of careers leaders responding to the survey were appointed by head teachers during 2018-19, and 83% of careers leaders reported on career guidance to senior leadership teams at least once a term.

The challenges careers leaders face to be as effective as possible include accessing time and staff resources, budgetary constraints, establishing the role at a middle or senior level and engaging teaching staff. 

You can access the full research here.

CEC launches free Careers Leaders online training

As part of its support for the new Careers Leader roles, the CEC has developed, in partnership with Teach First, an online training course to provide foundational knowledge for Careers Leaders and those interested in the role

First published 15 November 2019