Eastleigh College is the first and only technical and professional college in Hampshire to achieve the new national Quality in Careers Standard, awarded by Investor in Careers.
The accreditation followed a 15 month period of assessment and scrutiny. By meeting eight career guidance benchmarks – known as the Gatsby Benchmarks – Eastleigh College has been recognised for the inclusive and career-focused education it provides.
Not only is Eastleigh College the first in Hampshire to meet all eight of the Gatsby Benchmarks, but has achieved this well ahead of the proposed September 2020 deadline. The college’s experience of going through the process has been published as a case study by the Quality in Careers Consortium.
Darren Coventry, Eastleigh College Vice Principal (Commercial and Customer Services) praised the Learner Journey and Careers teams for their ongoing hard work and dedication. He said: “We were well placed, as our Learner Journey and Careers teams already worked with universities, employers and industry experts gaining local labour market intelligence and delivering excellent career and progression guidance to our learners. However, this achievement is as a result of a whole college approach – involving tutors, support staff and governors.”
Trudy McKenzie, Careers Advisor at Eastleigh College, added: “I’m proud to be part of such a dedicated team driven by our Head of Learner Journey who worked tirelessly to ensure we provided the evidence needed.”
The eight Gatsby benchmarks are:
- A stable careers programme
- Learning from career and labour market information
- Addressing the needs of each pupil
- Linking curriculum learning to careers
- Encounters with employers and employees
- Experience of workplaces
- Encounters with further and higher education
- Personal guidance
Eastleigh College’s ‘whole college approach’ was recognised by Investor in Careers, which identified the many good practices already in place.
The college’s tutors are all industry experts who bring careers content into the curriculum to bring the subject to life. The tutors and careers team use up-to-date and relevant information, making connections between classroom learning and young people’s aspirations into apprenticeships, university or directly into work.
The college’s courses are designed to enhance learning with work experience. One example is University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust joining forces with Eastleigh College to provide a unique opportunity for school and college leavers wishing to work within healthcare.
The new health and social care course is an exclusive Level 3 full time study programme that not only provides essential knowledge and a recognised qualification, but also the hands-on skills and experience required to be able to gain an apprenticeship or employment.
Darren concluded: “This accreditation reflects our whole college approach to excellence. It is the latest in a series of recent high profile accolades including national government data ranking Eastleigh College the best in Hampshire for student achievement.”