The North East Local Enterprise Partnership

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The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) aim to: 

  1. Provide young people with access to high quality careers guidance 
  2. Improve destinations for all young people  
  3. Raise skill levels across our workforce 
  4. Improve digital skills 

The LEP aims to support all North East schools and colleges to achieve the good career benchmarks by 2024 

NQT Teachers

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP) is a public, private and education sector partnership. 

They are one of thirty-eight LEPs in the country and are responsible for promoting and developing economic growth in the local authority areas of County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland. 

They produce our area’s Strategic Economic Plan, which acts as a blueprint for the activities that need to take place to improve our economy. 

The North East LEP covers the local authority areas of County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland. 

Within this area, we have a population of two million people and a skilled and resilient workforce. In 2018, the North East produced goods and services valued at £41 billion. This is due to our three great cities, a wider urban economy and our rural and coastal locations which offer a diverse range of investment opportunities and an excellent quality of life. The North East is built to work, with local road, rail, air and digital infrastructures giving easy access to local jobs. 

Our long-term vision is that the North East is a place where: 

  • Individuals, regardless of age or employment status, have a good understanding of the employment opportunities available in the North East and the pathways to access them.  
  • Employers have strong links with education and training providers leading to provision that meets local needs.  
  • All partners understand the importance of skills in improving productivity and living standards, with commitment to delivering good working environments for residents.   
  • The changing structure of the economy requires an effective response from early years to higher education.   
  • The LEP aim to close the employment rate gap by 100% against the 2014 UK rate (72.1%) by 2024.  
  • The vision is to create a fully integrated employment, skills and health system that is tailored to the specific needs of the area. 

That every young person should be able to identify routes to a successful working life, make more informed decisions about their future and be better prepared for the workplace. 

Building on the success of the Gatsby Good Career Guidance Benchmarks pilot with schools, colleges and employers delivering outstanding careers guidance from primary education to employment. 

The North East Ambition Programme is part-funded by the European Social Fund.

Careers Leaders have responsibility for the delivery of a school’s careers programme. They should be ensuring, among other things, that:  

  • The school has a good careers programme that meets the expectations set out in the Gatsby Benchmarks.  
  • The school has published on its website details of its careers programme and arrangements for providers of technical education or apprenticeships to talk to pupils.  
  • The destinations of young people from the school are tracked and that this information is used to improve the effectiveness of the school’s careers programme.  

Careers education and guidance has developed considerably over the last twenty years or so to reflect the changes in the labour market and the new generation of learners we are preparing for the world of work. The so-called Generation Z is the generation of digital natives, born since 2000, and as such require a new way of learning about career development. Infographics here and here show first, the key changes in careers delivery for young people and second, the new framework of careers education and guidance launched in April 2021 and encouraging a learning outcomes-based approach to a school careers programme linked closely with the student’s personal development. 

As part of the North East LEP the Skills Team can offer free support to all schools and colleges in the North East in a number of ways. Please contact any member of the team if you would like to know more. 

  • Regional labour market information 
  • Whole school CPD 
  • 1:1 consultancy with Careers Leaders 
  • Termly careers conferences and meetings 
  • Enterprise Adviser Network 
  • Free national Careers Leader training signposting 
  • Curriculum support 


The DfE careers strategy document ‘Making the most of everyone’s skills and talents’ sets out the government’s expectations for careers on page 4: 

We want:

  • all young people to understand the full range of opportunities available to them, to learn from employers about work and the skills that are valued in the workplace and to have first-hand experience of the workplace; 
  • all young people in secondary school and college to get an excellent programme of advice and guidance that is delivered by individuals with the right skills and experience; 
  • everyone to get support tailored to their circumstances. 
  • everyone to get the information they need to understand the job and career opportunities available, and how their knowledge and skills can help them in considering suitable careers

The strategy highlighted the crucial role provider access plays in schools’ careers provision (the ‘Baker Clause’), the importance of collecting and analysing post-16 destinations and the need for compliance in information published on a school’s website about their careers provision. 

It also stressed the need for personal guidance to be available for students; this must be delivered by appropriately qualified careers advisers and has been shown to have an ‘observable impact’ on young people. 

Guidance for schools and colleges can be found in the subsequent statutory guidance which was published in January 2018 and was updated in July 2021. 

Several prominent organisations have published reports on the positive benefits of good careers guidance, from the CDI and Careers and Enterprise Company in the UK to the OECD and World Economic Forum internationally. Sir John Holman’s seminal publication ‘Good Career Guidance’ (2014) identified the DfE-adopted 8 Benchmarks of good career guidance and showed how, by having achieved all 8 benchmarks, a school or college could be confident in saying that it delivered the highest quality offer of careers guidance to its students. His report was based on international evidence and subsequently tested in a random sample of English schools. Sir John made it clear that all 8 Benchmarks were of equal value and an institution should strive to meet all 8 in order to offer a fully rounded careers programme for its students. 

The North East LEP’s ‘Essential Guide’ has been produced for Careers Leaders to give them a set of priorities to follow when establishing and improving their careers programme. Headteachers and school leaders can use this as a reference point too. 

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