The Gatsby Benchmarks

Gatsby Benchmarks

The Gatsby Benchmarks may prove to be the turning point in careers guidance that many employers have long hoped for.

At or near the top of the worry list for almost every business is the difficulty they face in recruiting the skilled people they need to grow and prosper. Business owners and business managers have for decades been saying that they either can’t find people with the right skills, or they can’t even find the young people to train in those skills. The result? Great careers go begging and business growth (and even business survival) is called into question.

Part of that skills shortage can be attributed to the scarceness of good careers advice available in secondary schools. To say the problem runs across the board would be unfair, but up until recently, provision has been patchy, with no central resource to drive consistency or raise standards. The lack of a connection between subject choice as a means to following a career needs much more work.

The Gatsby Benchmarks

In December 2017, the Department for Education released a new career guidance strategy which puts the Gatsby Career Benchmarks front and centre.

The eight Gatsby benchmarks for good career guidance are:

  1. A stable careers programme
  2. Learning from career and labour market information
  3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
  4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
  5. Encounters with employers and employees
  6. Experiences of workplaces
  7. Encounters with further and higher education
  8. Personal guidance

Every school is now being required to begin using the Gatsby Benchmarks. Since September 2018, schools have been required by law to publish details of their careers programmes, as well as having a named “careers leader” to oversee the process. By the end of 2020, schools will be required to offer each pupil at least seven “meaningful encounters” with employers during their school career. In fact, by the end of 2020, schools must meet all eight benchmarks.

What Employers Should do

For industry, the priority has to be around connecting with schools, sixth Forms and FE Colleges to influence the careers debate and help teachers, to understand the opportunities that exist for their students.

Some teachers have no experience outside of the classroom, so reaching out, offering visits or having the opportunity to put a stand up at a careers fair can go a long way. The schools will be striving to meet their Gatsby obligations, so hopefully the process of engagement will be a lot simpler than it has been so far. By engaging, we can help our schools to link their curriculums to careers before GCSE choices are made, which should help to improve the available talent feeding through to the work place with the kind of educational attainment the industry needs.

Visit Careers & Enterprise for more information on careers guidance and the Gatsby system.

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the Gatsby Benchmarks with us in more detail, please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147 to be put in contact with a member of our Manufacturing team.

This article featured in issue 3 of our manufacturing and engineering newsletter series. Read the full newsletter here: The Engine – Issue 3