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Careers & Enterprise Company

Talent and Skills

Impact for scaleups


schools and colleges in the UK are in a Careers Hub with 4,000+ Enterprise Advisers


Strong network of ‘Cornerstone’ employers are working directly with Careers Hubs


Trained Careers Leaders acting as a strategic lead and focal point for businesses


More likely to report awareness of apprenticeships between years 7-11

Key sectors

Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Building & Construction Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Creative, digital, film, games & media Professional services Defence & security Technology & Communications Engineering / Advanced Engineering Transport & Logistics Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink Healthcare

The mission of the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) is to help every young person to find their best next step from education and into the wider world. The CEC links schools and colleges to employers through its network of more than 4,000 Enterprise Advisers. 

Advisers come from the business world and actively support 2,876 Careers Leaders in schools with training, insights and resources. Set up by the government in 2015, more than 4,300 schools and colleges have now joined CEC’s network and adopted the Gatsby Benchmarks of good careers guidance.

 Their expanded Career Hubs now cover 90% of schools and colleges in England. Each hub is built on a  dynamic partnership between schools, colleges, local authorities and other stakeholders working with local employers.  They give young people the opportunity to connect closely to local skills and economic needs, while helping businesses grow their talent pipeline. Participation in a Careers Hub has resulted in a significant increase in business involvement in careers activities with 81 per cent of participating schools and colleges having at least 10 businesses actively involved per year, while less than half (48%) of peers without a hub report this level of engagement.

The near universal adoption of the Gatsby Benchmarks of careers education has created a national measure of performance. Through CEC’s digital tools, schools and colleges are reporting progress across the Benchmarks in all parts of the country, with the most disadvantaged schools having reported the greatest improvement. 

Participating schools and colleges report that employer engagement and young people’s experience of workplaces now exceed pre-Covid levels. The latest analysis shows that 93 percent of students had at least one workplace experience last year, up from 82 percent in 2018/19. Nearly a quarter (23%) of Enterprise Advisers who have been in the role for three years or more report that their employer has recruited apprentices from local schools as a result of this engagement. 

The talent pipeline is further supported through CEC’s network of 400 cornerstone employers, including scaleups, who actively promote the use of employer insights in education. In addition, its Strategic Partnership Fund invests in Greater Manchester and West Midlands Combined Authority, working in partnership with them to boost local growth and support ambition. 

The Careers & Enterprise Company has also focused on enhancing support to schools and colleges including help with transition and those students facing the biggest barriers. Its programmes of support include: 

  • New this year, the CEC has designed an initiative targeting primary schools. Research shows that young people adopt a stereotypical view of employment opportunities from a young age. Running until March 2025, it connects businesses and primary schools, upskilling teachers and giving them vital insights to help them challenge these outdated stereotypes. This will support 600,000 children in 2,250 primary schools, boosting aspirations and increasing understanding of growing industries. 
  • In 2023, the ‘Teacher Encounters’ programme was launched. This pilot initiative gives subject teachers the opportunity to meet with local industry to gain insights and understanding of skills needs. This knowledge is then incorporated within their curriculum teaching to the benefit of both pupils and employers. 

Careers & Enterprise Company website