What good looks like
All subject staff should link curriculum with careers, even on courses that are not specifically occupation-led. For example, STEM subject staff should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of career paths. Study programmes should also reflect the importance of maths and English as a key expectation from employers.
- By the age of 14, every pupil should have had the opportunity to learn how the different STEM subjects help people to gain entry to, and be more effective workers within, a wide range of careers.
- Throughout their programme of study (and by the end of their course) every student should have had the opportunity to experience how their subjects help people gain entry to (and be more effective workers within) a wide range of occupations.
Approaches to Benchmark 4
- Students experience a careers programme where progressive learning outcomes support students to build careers knowledge, understanding and ability towards positive transitions
- The Foundation Approach also includes supporting staff to simply highlight the relevance of their subjects to careers pathways and future opportunities. This approach sits outside of taught curriculum and is about making abstract links about the relevance of subjects to pathways/roles and related essential skills to future careers and opportunities. This can sit outside of teaching and be done in a variety of ways including homework tasks, starter/plenary tasks, etc.
- Students are engaged in their subjects as staff highlight the relevance of their subjects to future careers and opportunities
- Linking Careers to the Curriculum:
- Students are supported to understand the application of learning through teachers contextualising teaching points within careers, future opportunities and the world of work
- This can be done through a review of current schemes of work and highlight opportunities within content and themes to focus on essential skills/pathways/roles, etc. The content in the My Learning, My Future resource provides effective signposting and supports teachers in making these links.
- Linking careers in the curriculum can be extended by helping staff to understand and deliver careers learning outcomes through teaching & learning alongside national curriculum.
Embedding Curriculum in the Context of Careers:
- Where staff are engaged, students are engaged in learning and supported to make progress as curriculum teaching points are embedded in the context of careers and the world of work
- Embedding careers in the curriculum can be extended by helping staff to understand and deliver careers learning outcomes through teaching & learning alongside national curriculum.
Why this matters
- Students feel more engaged in their learning when they perceive the relevance of what they are studying to their own and other people’s lives
- Students become more aspirational, understanding that perceived barriers can be overcome and that there are numerous pathways to success
- Subject teachers are highly influential – students are 18 times more likely to be motivated to learn if their teachers know their hopes and dreams
- Staff highlighting the relevance of their subject to future careers and opportunities creates social capital for young people with more limited networks
- Improving career guidance in secondary schools and colleges can lead to better student outcomes, while also raising aspirations and increasing engagement with education”, ICEGS
- Skills Builder – Better Prepared Report ‘Strong essential skills such as speaking, listening and staying positive can positively influence young people's employment prospects.’
Getting started with BM4
- Linking careers to the curriculum supports the engagement of students and supports progress by highlighting the relevance of subjects and specific teaching points to careers and future opportunities
- Share your definition of careers with staff to help colleagues recognise the value in a whole school approach to Benchmark 4
- Consider an audit and celebration of what staff are already doing
- Share the ‘My Learning, My Future resources with staff to support them in highlighting the relevance of their subjects
- The My Learning, My Future Inspiration Guides also support staff towards linking curriculum to careers
All Careers Leaders require Outstanding training
For further support with Benchmark 1 register for our fully funded Careers Leader training
Download our Training Catalogue which includes all the information you need and a helpful comparison guide on the 11 high-quality Training Providers we work with. Here you will be able to choose the right course to suit you and your development, so that you can embed a successful careers programme in your school/college.
Once you have chosen the right course and Training Provider for you, you are all set to register!
Careers in Context: Can Do Approaches
- Be clear about defining what ‘careers’ is right now in your school or special school and what your expectations of curriculum staff are for this Benchmark:
- Define key learning outcomes are for key stages or year groups on what your students need to know, understand and be able to do as a priority
- Refer to the new CDI Framework to support you in setting progressive learning outcomes based on priority needs of your students.
- Support staff to engage students in learning by highlighting the relevance of their subjects to future careers to support positive student outcomes and school/college priorities around destinations, engagement and attainment. This is of higher priority due to the pandemic, as the potential for discrete careers events and delivery may become limited.
- Consider how you engage staff through Careers CPD: New Resource COMING SOON
- Share the My Learning, My Future resources with curriculum staff to support them in highlighting the relevance of their subjects or My Skills My Future for SEND.
- Consider using this template ‘Proposal’ document to help you to make a case to SLT for time, resource and support for careers guidance.
I am a...
Careermap’s Careerometer is a live and interactive tool that gives up-to-date labour market information (LMI) to support discussions on careers. The tool also allows comparing and contrasting LMI on two different job roles.
This toolkit is intended to be simple to use, helping Careers Leaders and others support and develop youth social action. the resource aims to enable more of their young people to be active citizens in their school or college and wider communities.
Careers Collective were commissioned in 2022, by the Construction Industry Training Board to create a film and learning materials for schools (mainstream and specialist) that showcased their industry and the multiple pathways and careers that are open to students; in particular ways of achieving robust and valued qualifications without going to university.
Access a free-to-use online platform that hosts all the tools you need to build the eight essential skills as outlined by the Skills Builder.
Talentino programmes have been helping to improve career outcomes for young people with a range of learning difficulties in a mixture of settings – special schools, mainstream schools, AP, PRU, SEMH, etc.
They also provide great opportunities for learning more, through their regular newsletters, annual SEND Careers Conference, and by publishing free resources.
A guide, published by Build UK, setting out the most common routes of entry into construction for young people in England leaving school, including apprenticeships, T Levels and degrees, and how they might suit different employers.
Developed by EM3 Careers Hub.
This resource is a series of podcasts lesson plans and Labour Market Information (LMI).
Developed by Somerset Careers Hub.
This resource details the ways in which Enterpriser Advisers could support schools to develop their careers programme. Ideas have been categorised under each specific benchmark.
Discover exciting careers in creative and entertainment industries: access resources, advice, guidance, and the skills and qualities needed to work in each role.
The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) have developed a series of guides to support professionals working with children and young people, with the aim of improving their financial wellbeing through good quality financial education.
Do your students need a little career direction? We understand that the job hunt can feel overwhelming at times, which is why our career advice hub has lots of support on finding a job, nailing the application process, apprenticeships, graduate schemes and other pathways plus much more!
These six Army STEM Challenges use an Army training scenario to explore a range of STEM topics in fun and engaging activities. Ideal for KS3, students can complete each challenge independently at home with minimal equipment, or in a STEM club or lessons at school.