The West of England is “leading when it comes to careers education for young people” and could “teach the rest of the country a thing or two”, according to Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

The Metro Mayor made the comments as he addressed the West of England Combined Authority’s annual careers conference attended by over 90 headteachers this Wednesday at 2.45pm (SGS College, WISE Campus, New Road, Stoke Gifford, Bristol BS34 8LP), including Bradley Stoke Community School, City of Bristol College and Norton Hill School.

The Mayor announced a £710,000 cash injection to extend and an expansion of the work of the West of England Combined Authority careers programme.

Thanks to the new cash pupils in every secondary school and college in the region will have the chance to benefit from an ‘enterprise adviser’. They will work with to schools linking them to local employers and promoting new opportunities including high skilled green jobs.

However, things aren’t so rosy elsewhere in the country. Under the Conservative government, current careers education provision remains underfunded and therefore inconsistent. Nearly a third of teachers in state schools nationwide say they do not have enough funding to deliver quality careers guidance to their students, according to the social mobility charity the Sutton Trust.

Labour has pledged to fix a “broken system” when it comes to the careers education pupils receive at school, including pledging all secondary school pupils receive face-to-face expert careers advice during their schooling alongside two weeks minimum of compulsory work experience. Mayor Norris has backed Labour’s plans.

The Metro Mayor will close the event with a positive address about improving the life chances of young people across the region and ensuring young talent isn’t wasted. He will say: “A child born today will go on to have six or seven different jobs and some of them we won’t have even imagined yet. So great career advice is vital. It can have a life-changing impact on young people encouraging them to expand their horizons and go on to get skilled, secure and well paid jobs. I’m so pleased this bumper £710,000 cash injection from the West of England Combined Authority I lead means more South Gloucestershire youngsters will get the chance to be job ready and life ready”.

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