The second strand of the Foundation's new Progression into Work strategy is now live with the launch of our grants programme to strengthen and embed improved careers education and guidance in Camden and Islington secondary schools. We aim to support around half of our local schools to significantly extend or enhance their existing provision so that all students are well-prepared and equipped with the skills and insights to progress successfully into the world of work.
Our review, earlier this year, of the policy and practice landscape relating to young people's progression into work, had highlighted the lack of capacity in many schools to plan and co-ordinate the careers education curriculum and progression of work-related learning opportunities that they would like to offer. There is now clear evidence of the benefits of a well sequenced careers programme encompassing purposeful encounters with employers, clear insights and information about career pathways and opportunities, and individual guidance for students, but nationally only 50% of schools achieve at least two of the eight recognised good practice benchmarks (1). Although there are some fantastic examples of careers learning in Camden and Islington and these boroughs have amongst the highest concentrations of employers in the country, we heard that many of our local schools are not able to tap into the opportunities available and have cut back on their work experience programmes. Our grants programme is intended to help them transform their provision for the longer-term.
The programme will offer funding directly to schools and the organisations that support them for up to a three year period, with awards likely to range up to £70,000 for work in a single school and up to £200,000 for the very strongest proposals working across multiple schools. Full guidelines and the application form are available here, with the deadline for first stage applications Monday 18th December, and grants to be awarded by the end of March 2018.
This programme complements our 'Earn while you Learn' grants programme which is accepting applications until the 13th November, for programmes to increase opportunities for young people, aged 16-24 to engage in meaningful work through part time jobs, paid work experience or traineeships, internships and apprenticeships.