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New careers development recognition award for post-16 education in Wales

Mark Owen from Careers Wales with Nikki Gamlin from Coleg Gwent Pictured are Mark Owen and Nicola Gamlin Pic:Tom Martin WALES NEWS SERVICE

Careers Wales has launched a new award to recognise commitment to the development of the provision of careers learning and support by post-16 education institutions across the country.

The Careers Development Award, which will last for three years, will be presented to institutions who commit to the long-term development of careers education by working closely with Careers Wales, identifying key areas for development and implementing a plan to address these.

The initiative has been developed in response to the new curriculum for Wales, which will come into place in September 2022, and includes the delivery of careers and work related experiences to pupils aged three to 16.  As an impartial and inclusive organisation, Careers Wales are ensuring they can continue to also recognise the important careers development work being done by institutions providing education to students aged 16 and over.

Coleg Gwent is the first institution to receive the award in response to the recent work they’ve carried out in partnership with Careers Wales to develop their provision of careers education.

After working with consultants from the Careers Wales team to conduct a thorough audit, areas for development were identified and a collaborative plan for action was put into place.

One example of a new programme implemented a result of this process is the provision of training to Coleg Gwent’s student coaches to be able to address any careers concerns, be aware of options to explore and be able to signpost to further support from Careers Wales advisers.

The development plan also included work to improve the direct marketing of careers events and opportunities, as well as raising awareness of considering any mental health support that might be beneficial to students receiving help with their career plans.

The college will be supported continuously by Careers Wales with regular update meetings and annual agreements that will involve input from all schools and departments across the institution.

Nikki Gamlin, Vice Principal, Curriculum and Quality in the corporate management team at Coleg Gwent said: “We’re delighted to be the first college in Wales to achieve the Careers Development Award. The timing of this is particularly relevant given the difficulties of the last 16 months due to the pandemic.

“Working with the Careers Development Award, we’ll be focusing our support on helping learners make career decisions in light of the impact the pandemic has had on their mental health and wellbeing.

“This gives us a great opportunity to support our young people in improving their self-esteem and helping them make the right choices to achieve their career aspirations.

“We’re looking forward to working more closely with Careers Wales.”

Mark Owen, Head of Services to Stakeholders at Careers Wales, said: “We’re extremely pleased to be launching the Careers Development Award this year.

“It’s so important that the emphasis on careers education and support is present throughout every student’s journey, and that those continuing into post-16 education are receiving the right guidance and support that they need to plan their future careers effectively.

“We want to express our gratitude to the institutions working with us to develop their provision of careers education further and encourage other post-16 organisations to get in touch with us to see how we can help support their own careers activity.”

To find out more about the Careers Development Award and working with Careers Wales, please get in touch with [email protected] or call on 0800 028 4844.