Case study

National Careers Service

We have been delivering the National Careers Service on behalf of the UK government since 2004. We work in the north east, Cumbria, Yorkshire and the Humber and in parts of the south east and the south west of England. The National Careers Service offers informed careers, employment and skills support to bridge the gap between education, training and employment; our success in delivering this contract resulted in our award of Ofsted 'outstanding' status, making us one of only two providers in the country to achieve this.

The challenge

Nationally, the National Careers Service works with more than 650,000 people every year to make effective decisions about their career, training and jobs. Effectively delivering the National Careers Service across such a significant proportion of England to a high standard requires a rigorous, evidence-based business model backed up with the right structure, the right people and the right policies and procedures. Furthermore, our delivery of the contract is designed from the bottom-up to be both scalable and adaptive to the wide variety of geographical settings and localised contexts in which we operate.

Our approach

Customers aged 19 and over can access support through the National Careers Service face-to-face, over the telephone and via the web. Our team of qualified and expert careers advisers deliver free, impartial and confidential careers advice sessions in a variety of readily accessible locations. These sessions help customers to explore their careers options and make careers decisions, reflect on their skills, abilities and experience, provide ongoing motivation and support with the ultimate aim of moving an individual into or closer to work, education or training. Working with employers, training organisations and colleges, we have been able to provide a best-in-class careers service which is underpinned by Education Development Trust's core values of excellence, integrity, accountability and collaboration.

We are highly experienced in delivering cutting edge careers IAG (information, advice and guidance). Our advisers are qualified to a minimum of Level 4 and many of them to Level 6 and higher. We provide our teams with a comprehensive programme of continuing professional development and excellent support from dedicated labour market intelligence, quality assurance and digital and social media specialists.

We are accredited to both the Matrix and Merlin Standards and in all our work we seek to demonstrate our belief in evidence-informed practice and service management. This is described and endorsed in our most recent Ofsted inspection report – view report (opens in a new window) – in which we were graded ‘outstanding’; in particular, our use of labour market information to inform practice and our approach to the use of digital tools is commended in the report.

Our impact

Our work delivering the National Careers Service changes lives, improves communities and benefits the national economy. Careers advice is a fundamental force in social mobilisation and allows individuals to reach their full potential and make the most of the opportunities available to them. 

Testimonials from customers, partners and stakeholders are supported by qualitative data gathered via our feedback process: 91% of our customers agreed that the advice they received was helpful and relevant to them after visiting us, whereas 88% of our customers were clearer about their next steps following their advice session.