Linking London | News | 28 June 2018: Event report - Careers Strategy Forum

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Meeting the Requirements of the new Government Careers Strategy for Colleges

Linking London's first Careers Strategy Forum provided an opportunity for staff involved in designing and delivering a college Careers IAG offer to explore how they can meet the requirements of the Careers Strategy, including the eight Gatsby benchmarks. The Forum offered the opportunity for partners to share issues and concerns and explore how these can be addressed as well as reflect on good practice.

Delegates first heard from Andrew Jones, Deputy Director, Linking London, who provided a useful overview of the Careers Strategy, including key headlines from the guidance for further education and sixth form colleges. Andrew attended a roundtable at City Hall in May with the Careers Enterprise Company and informed the group that the CEC are working on their support for colleges and are in the process of creating a College Toolkit – the toolkit will be available in September 2018, along with the Compass Tool for colleges, which enables colleges to self-assess against the  benchmarks.

The group then looked at the 8 Gatsby benchmarks and worked in groups to highlight the challenges they were experiencing in meeting the requirements and they discussed ways they could work to successfully implement them. This group activity gave delegates the opportunity to share their practice for addressing the benchmarks and provided the chance for partners to collaborate on their careers offer. Challenges included:

  • Benchmark 8 – major concerns around personal guidance – capacity issue for one-to-one interviews for thousands of students per college. Unrealistic for colleges.
  • Teachers are reluctant to get on board yet it is meant to be teacher led.
  • Cross-college collaboration – collecting and mapping data from a number of different departments/section.  
  • Benchmark 6 is difficult – have to create work placements for thousands of students. T level work placements alongside this too.
  • Compliance is a struggle. Possibility of sanctions from ESFA etc.
  • Benchmark 4 – need senior management buy in and culture change re: careers – developing a whole institution approach. Mapping is key.

The group discussed the importance of careers champions in each faculty/department and the value in presenting at faculty meetings. For benchmark 2, partners highlighted LMI for All as a useful widget which you can embed into your college website. As a solution for benchmark 8 could carry out a group activity and then offer your time afterwards for one-to-one drop-ins or scope for e-guidance. The group also talked about 8 needing to be done systematically during tutorial time.

After a short networking break, the group heard from Jan Orlebar, Careers Officer, University of Greenwich, who presented on how universities can support colleges in meeting the benchmarks. Greenwich offer a wide range of CIAG related support for staff and students – mapped against the benchmarks. To take a look at Greenwich’s support offer please click here.

The Forum closed with the group discussing ways that Linking London can work to support colleges going forward. Linking London hold four IAG Practitioner Groups a year which cover careers related information, advice and guidance. Copies of Lesley Thain’s, Careers Enterprise Company, presentation are available on the partners area. Linking London also produce a range of subject specific guides which include information about related occupations.


To view the presentations from the day please click here. This link will take you to the Partners' Area of the Linking London website. You must be a Linking London member to access this section of the website and you will need your login name and password. If you do not know your username and password, please email


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