Free online assessment to help employers shape their workforce

A new online tool designed to help employers plan and improve their careers education outreach programmes is available – and FREE to use.

The Careers and Enterprise Company, the national body for careers education in England, has developed the tool which includes a framework of nine ‘Employer Standards’ to improve engagement between young people and employers.

So far, over 360 employers have evaluated themselves against the nine evidence-based Standards to identify ways they can close skills gaps and create a more diverse talent pipeline. 

It takes just 25 minutes to complete the assessment and users will see their results within seconds. Employers are then given short, medium and long term recommendations and able to compare themselves with other businesses in their sector.

“At a time when skills shortages are acute, we believe this tool is well worth completing” says HIT Training Managing Director Mike Worley. “Businesses within the sectors we work with stand to gain significantly from effective careers outreach and this tool will open employers’ eyes to new ways of working and improve engagement between young people and employers, subsequently attracting more applications for apprenticeships.

“Employers play a pivotal role in enhancing career guidance within educational settings. When young individuals engage with employers, they acquire valuable skills, expand their networks, and build social capital. This exposure enables them to grasp the different pathways to employment more effectively, with disadvantaged young people benefiting most.”

The online tool will help you to:

  • review the quality of your outreach as well as support your business to align its engagement with its business objectives.

  • confidentially assess your performance against peers, nationally, sectorally and regionally.

  • access an evidence pack underpinning each Standard to support your business case, including inspirational case studies from other businesses and curated resources to help improve the quality of your career education outreach. 

The nine Employer Standards for careers education

The CEC’s Employer Standards is a simple framework to help you ask the right questions up front, cut through complexity, evaluate impact, improve performance and create the impact you are looking for.

They will help you think about and plan up-front what you want to achieve from working with schools, special schools, educational institutions and training providers, and review the quality of your outreach and how it aligns with your business objectives.

Employer Standards will be rolled out nationally to businesses of all sizes and industry sectors over the next year and data shows that employers need to work on the following nine areas:

  • Provide meaningful opportunities.

Provide as many meaningful career education activities and experiences of the workplace as you can. Offer young people the opportunity to meet a range of people, have extensive two-way interaction and receive feedback on a piece of work. 

  • Be inclusive.

Deliver career education activities in schools, special schools or colleges where most need has been identified.

  • Evaluate and improve.

Evaluate your career education activities to understand if they are having the intended impact and adapt your approach according to identified gaps or needs.

  • Build essential skills and explain their relevance.

Support young people, teachers and career leaders in understanding why essential skills are invaluable in the workplace.

  • Prepare young people for application processes.

Support young people to understand and practice a range of application and selection processes (e.g., assessment centres, psychometric testing, online interviews, in person interviews, including task and competency based).

  • Raise awareness of pathways into work.

Provide information about opportunities in your organisation and/or industry.

  • Engage over the long-term.

Work with the same school, special school or college for more than one year to strengthen partnerships and promote continuous learning.

  • Partner with others.

Seek to understand what a school, special school or college, most need in terms of careers education support.

  • Value the engagement.

Recognise the impact of what engagement with careers education does for young people, communicate this with your employees and enable them to engage in outreach.




Access the framework and take the self-assessment

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