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Students 'should be offered two "meaningful encounters" with employers a year'

As part of the government's post-16 skills plan, colleges must appoint a careers leader to head up their careers programme, according to new guidance

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As part of the government's post-16 skills plan, colleges must appoint a careers leader to head up their careers programme, according to new guidance

New guidelines require college students to be offered two "meaningful encounters" a year with an employer by the end of 2020.

All FE colleges and sixth-form colleges in England are subject to the requirements laid out in the Department for Education’s updated careers guidance, which was published on Thursday. It also says colleges should immediately begin to use the Gatsby Benchmarks to improve careers provision.

The reforms are part of the government’s post-16 skills plan, which aims to help meet the needs of the UK’s changing economy by raising the prestige of technical education.

Careers guidance

Colleges will now be required to offer students at least two meaningful encounters with an employer with at least one of those related to the learners’ field of study. These goals should be met "in full" by the end of the decade.

From September, every college is also required to have appointed a named person to the role of careers leader to head up their careers programme. The college must also have published its careers programme on its website.

The Gatsby Charitable Foundation conducted research three years ago to bring together international best practice to establish eight benchmarks for good career guidance. The foundation has since worked with colleges to review the applicability of the benchmarks for a post-16 setting and a ‘small number of revisions’ were made to the criteria to ensure they are appropriate.

The guidelines also say Ofsted is legally required to comment in an inspection report on the careers guidance provided to learners at colleges.

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