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Giving Britain the Skills it Needs

‘As a major employer, a parent and a citizen of a country where so many young people are in danger of getting lost, I care passionately about developing the right skills that our country needs.’

These are the words of Steve Holliday, Chief Executive of National Grid, who on Monday 16th June launched the Careers Lab initiative in London. The event was chaired by Andrew Neil and included an input from Matt Hancock, Minister for Skills and Enterprise.

The Careers Lab is a partnership between schools and business to bring the world of work alive to 11-16-year-olds. Earlier this year it was piloted in five schools in the Midlands and the aim is to roll it out to over 600 schools in the coming year.

The Careers Lab model comprises four elements:

  • A flexible framework that makes it easy for schools to engage with businesses across a range of sectors. National Grid, for example, is primarily interested in providing STEM-related opportunities but a company like Whitbread is doing the same in food and hospitality. The framework is designed so that schools can integrate Careers Lab easily with their existing activities
  • The companies involved in Careers Lab provide talented employees to act as Business Ambassadors in schools
  • The business ambassadors help to deliver four taught modules: Inspire, Aspire, Explore, Action
  • An online brokerage service will be set up to match businesses with schools.

An evaluation of the pilot has been published. Download Inspiring the Next Generation here

If you are a school and want to know more about Careers Lab please email Julian Buttery, Careers Lab, Project Manager at

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