School bids for £250k to launch careers programme across Yorkshire

Principal Ray Henshaw
Principal Ray Henshaw

A West Yorkshire school is bidding for £250,000 of funding to introduce a new programme of careers education across the Yorkshire region, its principal has said.

Ray Henshaw, head of Minsthorpe Community College in South Elmsall, Wakefield district, is hoping to secure a share of £2.5m available through The Career and Enterprise Company's Personal Guidance Fund.

The cash would be used to put a careers programme in place at five schools including Minsthorpe, he said.

The programme would see every student in each of the schools having at least one careers talk with a trained professional, who would advise and guide them on routes available including work, apprenticeships and further and higher education.

Mr Henshaw will present the idea to the company's management board next week in a bid to make it through to the next stage of the funding application process.

He said: Just getting this far has been a gruelling experience and we have beaten off stiff competition to be shortlisted.

“We are absolutely committed to giving high quality careers advice and give it at the times when students most need it."

Mr Henshaw said the programme would run in Castleford Academy, Horizon Community College in Barnsley, Batley Girls' High School and Upper Batley High School.

A total of 15 new professionals would be trained to work with young people and each school would also develop a network of five extra schools each, training staff on how to give effective careers advice and guidance.

Mr Henshaw said: "Education cuts have sometimes led to careers education becoming less of a priority.

"Within two years we hope to have improved the advice that students get in at least thirty schools across West Yorkshire."

The bid comes as 20 careers hubs are established across the UK.

As part of the Careers Strategy, published in December 2017, the government tasked The Careers and Enterprise Company to create the hubs, allocating £5m over a two-year period to studdpot them.

The hubs will be made up of up to 40 local schools and colleges, working together with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to improve careers education.

Mr Henshaw said he hoped to use the hubs to show other schools the impact of the planned the personal guidance programme and support the training of careers advisors in areas including Kirklees, bradford, East Riding and Doncaster.