The professional careers adviser workforce

Cockett J, Pollard E, Williams M  |   | Institute for Employment Studies  | Mar 2021

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The Gatsby Foundation (Gatsby) is a charitable foundation that provides funding, commissions research, and supports interventions across six key areas. One of these key areas is education, with a focus on good career guidance in secondary schools and colleges. Gatsby recognises the need for young people to have high-quality career guidance to make informed decisions about their future, and the importance of good career guidance in achieving social justice. In 2013 Gatsby commissioned Sir John Holman to research actions to improve career guidance in England which led to the development of the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks (Holman, 2014) now adopted as part of the Government’s Careers Strategy for schools and colleges (DfE, 2017, DfE 2018a, DfE, 2018b). To support implementation of the benchmarks requires an appropriate infrastructure including a strong workforce of professional careers advisers. 

Gatsby sought to understand the size and profile of the careers adviser workforce currently working in English schools and colleges: the number, regional distribution (hot and cold spots), qualification level and demographic characteristics such as gender, age and race. This will help Gatsby in their work to understand how personal careers guidance provision in schools and colleges across England is changing. The Institute for Employment Studies  was commissioned to undertake this work: firstly, to identify and scope the range of publicly available data sources to understand their potential to meet the research aims; and, secondly, to analyse the most suitable sources.