Unaware, unsure and unhappy – are students really making informed decisions about their post-school career pathways?

Date | 24 September 2021


The team at CareermapNews undertook a study of almost 2,500 UK-based adults aged between 18-21, with the aim of finding out just how many students felt pressured into choosing a particular course or career path, while undertaking their A-Levels or chosen college course. The study also looked into how many of these students are now happy with their chosen career paths.

Over three quarters of students who took part in the survey revealed they felt pressured by parents and peers to choose a particular university or career path, following the completion of their A-Levels / college course (65%).


In addition to this, around 33% of students admitted they opted to go to a particular university just because their friends had applied there too.


60% of young people in U.K. say opportunities to learn job skills worsened by pandemic

Date | 23 July 2021 reports that according to a new student-led study by UCL researchers, sixty percent of students in school, college or university felt their opportunities to learn job skills worsened due to the pandemic. The percentage remained high even when schools and colleges reopened.

The paper includes responses from a panel of 1,542 16-25-year-olds collected during February and May 2021. 

The authors say it is those on the cusp of entering the labor market who need help to become better prepared for a successful transition, especially so when facing an uncertain economic climate.

Co-author, Dr. Ingrid Schoon (UCL Institute of Education) said: "Young people in education and training have suffered the triple whammy of lost learning time, a sharp drop in available work experience placements and internships, and a switch to remote work and online learning, which might not have been possible for all.

"Through closer collaboration between education providers and employers, opportunities to develop valuable work experience, job skills and professional networks are achievable. An evaluation and potential extension of the Kickstart Scheme can be a first step in this direction."

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New £135M T Level Capital Fund to upgrade classrooms

Date | 18 January 2021

FE News reports that Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, has announced a multi-million pound investment that will ensure T Level students have access to the world class facilities and cutting-edge equipment they need to succeed


The Investment forms part of the government’s drive to make sure young people gain the skills they need to launch a great career and level up the economy


T Level providers across the country can bid for a share of £135 million, through the T Level Capital Fund, to upgrade classrooms and buildings in readiness for students starting courses in September 2022. Part of this funding will also be made available to pay for specialist kit such as surveying equipment and engineering tools to make sure students have access to the industry standard devices they need to be ready for the workplace.

College Students

Wolverhampton Council Creates 180 work placements

Date | 5 December 2020

Young people in Wolverhampton at risk of long-term unemployment are to be given work experience placements by the city council and local businesses, reports the Birmingham Mail. 

The 'Kickstart' programme will see the council providing up to 180 young people aged 16-24 with paid employment postings within their own services, along with those of a number of partnership firms.

Launched nationally last month, the Government-funded scheme is being run in conjunction with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and will provide placements until December 2021.

Local employers are encouraged to sign up to the programme if they can provide 30 or more work placements before December 2021.

Starting dates can be spread up until the end of that month, with a completion date of all placements by June 2022. Upon approval, each employer will receive a financial grant of £1,500 per posting.

Image by Scott Graham

DfE lifts all provider T Level restrictions from 2024

Date | 26 October 2020

FE Week reports that the Department for Education has announced today any provider delivering 16 to 19 study programmes will be able to run T Levels from 2024. 

In an update to its ‘T Levels: next steps for providers’ document, the Education and Skills Funding Agency said: “By 2024 all T Levels will have been delivered for at least a year and we will be moving towards full national roll-out.  

“Therefore from 2024, T Levels will be available to be delivered by all providers delivering 16 to 19 study programmes.” 

This will affect colleges, school and independent sixth forms, and certain independent training providers, and will come after the remainder of the 25 T Level routes are intended to have been rolled-out in 2023. 

Image by Scott Graham

£100m pilot integrated into £2.5bn National Skills Fund


Date | 12 October 2020

The government’s national retraining scheme pilot has been rolled into the national skills fund, Gillian Keegan announced today.

In a ministerial statement, the skills minister said the decision to amalgamate the two programmes was taken in order to “reduce complexity” in the adult education landscape.


The retraining scheme was first announced in the 2017 Budget to help adults retrain into “better” jobs, with £100 million set aside for the next three years to test and develop the scheme.

The digital service acts as a course and job directory. It allows users to identify and input their current skills and then based on those skills, offer suggestions for training and alternative employment. The service then directs users to vacancies in their area based on the suggestions provided.

Image by Glen Carrie

Covid-19 forecasting app for colleges launched

Date | 10 October 2020

A new app that forecasts the spread of Covid-19 in colleges has been launched.

Developed by the University of Exeter in collaboration with colleges, the free online tool is said to analyse individual college data according to various inputs such as class-based bubbles, larger year group bubbles and attendance on different days.

It also allows the user to input community infection rates as well as information about how they are running their college to forecast how many people may need to self-isolate and other steps they can take to minimise disruption.

The app is still in its beta edition, but after a “successful trial” with several colleges, the app is now available to every college in the country.

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Boris Johnson announces 'radical' plan to boost vocational training

Date | 1 October 2020

Boris Johnson has promised to end the “pointless, nonsensical gulf” between university and vocational education, in what he called a “radical” shakeup of funding for post-18 education.

Giving an speech at Exeter college, Johnson said the Covid-19 pandemic had “massively accelerated” changes in the economy that were already under way, such as the shift to online shopping.

He said adults would need the ability to acquire the “technical know-how” to work in new industries, because “as old types of employment fall away, new opportunities are opening up with dizzying speed”.

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Wellbeing for Education Return Fund is now open

Date | 28 September 2020

The Wellbeing for Education Return programme will support staff working in schools and colleges to respond to the additional pressures some children and young people may be feeling as a direct result of the pandemic, as well as to any emotional response they or their teachers may still be experiencing from bereavement, stress, trauma or anxiety over the past months"

Image by ThisisEngineering RAEng

North-east firm launches virtual work experience scheme


Date | 14 September 2020

Here's a great virtual work experience initiative from the engineering firm Halliday Fraser Munro. 

"A north-east architecture firm has set up a virtual work experience scheme for students who would have missed out on placements.

Halliday Fraser Munro has launched its Virtual Studio, which will give students in architecture, planning or construction the opportunity to learn from its teams online.

The firm said many students would have been unable to complete placements or internships due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Managing director David Halliday said: “Providing opportunities for students to develop and grow in their chosen field of architecture, planning and construction has always been an important focus for the whole team at Halliday Fraser Munro.

“The Virtual Studio will deliver webinars to enhance student’s knowledge of the latest topics affecting the industry and gives us the opportunity to make connections with the next generation of talent and to help them transition from the studio to the office.”

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T Levels launch but classes not full

Date | 10 September 2020

Colleges and schools have missed two-thirds of their T Level enrolment targets, with digital proving to be the toughest subject to sell to students, according to early findings from an FE Week survey.

But leaders are still celebrating the initial figures, which could increase slightly as recruitment continues in the coming weeks, considering the impact of Covid-19 and the chaos of this summer’s GCSE exams.

Skills minister Gillian Keegan said the early indications were that recruitment had progressed “well in the circumstances” and produced a “viable cohort” across the country.

The first ever T Levels – which have been five years in the making and described as the “gold standard” in technical education to sit alongside their academic equivalent A-levels – launched this month in three subjects: construction, digital and education and childcare.

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Here’s how to get the edge when looking for work

Date | 10 September 2020

We found this great article over on BBC Bitesize that is encouraging young people to access Labour Market Information.


It's well worth forwarding on to your students along with some links to your college LMI site.


You can find the article here

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Introducing Navigate updates to customers this week

Date | 19 November 2019 


It's been such a pleasure introducing the recent Navigate update to our customer colleges this week. We're proud to have created an easy-to-use platform that saves WEXP teams 1.5 hours of admin per work placement, giving them more time to focus on building employer relationships and supporting learners.

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What did the Queen's speech say about FE?

Date | 14 November 2019

Continuing positive messages re. medium-term funding for T Levels: "Background documents for the Queen's Speech repeat the £400m funding pledge and support for the introduction of T levels"

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The impact of external speakers on pupils' motivation, attitude, and self-belief

Date | 09 November 2019

Some good research from Speakers for Schools and Education and Employers. This is a particularly powerful finding: "Students who could not recall any talks were five times more likely to believe that their background held them back in achieving their ambitions compared to those who could recall eight or more talks"

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T Level Industry Placements Podcast with AOC's David Hughes


Date | 26 November 2019

This is well worth a listen from David Hughes, Chief Exec at the Association of Colleges. Heartening to hear that the AoC has been lobbying the DfE to build flexibility into Industry placements.


There's so much fantastic work happening across the country to ensure T-Levels are a success, so good to know govt. is listening to best practice coming from the pilots.

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Child happiness hits lowest in decade

Date | 15 October 2019

Worrying news from The Children's Society... "The Good Childhood Report found a third (33%) of 10-17-year-olds have concerns about whether they will have enough money in the future, with more than a quarter (29%) worrying about having a job. Elsewhere it showed most common worries among 10 to 17 year olds were crime (42%), followed by the environment (41%) and information sharing online (37%)" 

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