New £2m project to turbo-charge careers education for disadvantaged young people in England

Liverpool City Region is one of 10 projects that have been selected to help young people who face significant barriers in life.

JPMorgan Chase and The Careers & Enterprise Company have launched a £2 million programme to help connect disadvantaged young people in England with the education and skills they need to prepare them for their future careers.

The project, with philanthropic support by JPMorgan Chase and rolled out by the national body for careers education, The Careers & Enterprise Company, will work with secondary school pupils facing significant barriers to help them prepare for the world of work. This will include young people from low-income families, on free school meals, those living in areas of high deprivation, and those who have been excluded from school.

Following a competitive application process across England’s network of regional Career Hubs, ten projects have been selected across the England. Each is being developed with teachers, school leaders and businesses, with a focus on the changing nature of jobs resulting from trends like artificial intelligence and automation.

The two-year projects will provide insights into the interventions and policy solutions most effective in helping disadvantaged young people transition from school into work, training and further education.

In Liverpool City Region, working class boys who face significant barriers in life and who are at risk of not entering employment, training or further studies after they finish school will be supported.

Over two and a half years the project will provide each young person taking part with a mentor, develop a personal development plan to increase their skills and confidence for their future careers, put them in touch with local employers to broaden their aspirations and develop a network of positive role-models and organisations they can use for advice and information about the working world.

Gill Walsh, Liverpool City Region Careers Hub Lead at Growth Platform said about the project: “We are excited to be delivering this project working directly with 11 schools and supporting over 120 boys across our City Region during the next two years. This project will help them access numerous opportunities to support their progression whilst also gaining lifelong skills to enable them to achieve their goals.”

Projects will also work with young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and a project in Dorset will test rewarding students for taking part in work experience alongside intensive one on one support to open their eyes to all the options and pathways open to them in their local area.

These multi-year philanthropic investments are part of the firm’s global career readiness initiative to prepare young people for the future of work and drive an inclusive economic recovery. England is the second site outside of the United States to participate in the programme following a commitment made to Spain in September 2021.

Viswas Raghavan, CEO of EMEA at JPMorgan Chase, said: “Building a skilled workforce and ensuring that all students have access to the support and real world experiences they need is critical to building an inclusive economy that works for all.

“Too many young people, particularly those from underrepresented communities, are entering the workforce without the skills and resources they need. Collaboration between the public and private sector is key, and that’s why we’re pleased to support the Careers and Enterprise Company to help more young people get on the pathway to a promising career.”

Oli de Botton, chief executive at The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “Helping young people find their best next step out of school into work, training or further study is important at the best of times. As we help this generation bounce back from the pandemic this work will become critical.

“As a headteacher I’ve seen first-hand just how transformative high quality, high impact careers education can be for the most disadvantaged young people – particularly at key transition points.

“These projects will deliver cutting edge approaches to careers education for those young people who battle the odds. Built by communities, for communities, our goal is to support approaches that remove barriers and help young people transition securely onto brilliant pathways.”

Baroness Morgan of Cotes, the former Secretary of State for Education who is on the board of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “As society rebuilds from the pandemic, providing support to those young people who face some of the highest, hardest obstacles as they grow up couldn’t be more important.

“These new projects, backed by JPMorgan Chase and The Careers & Enterprise Company, will help to transform the lives of some of this country’s most disadvantaged young people. Helping these students make the move from education into the world of work, with programmes that draw on the latest research, will help them to enter secure jobs for the long term. But as important, it will also help policy makers understand how outstanding careers education can contribute towards tackling unemployment in this country.”

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