Understanding the role of careers leaders. A guide for colleges

Careers leaders in colleges

The Careers & Enterprise Company and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation have just released Understanding the role of the careers leader. A guide for colleges. This builds on the earlier guidance that we issued for schools.

The basic idea of careers leadership is similar to that contained in the schools’ guidance. Colleges, like schools, need someone to lead careers across the college. That person needs to take responsibility for the whole programme and lead, manage, co-ordinate and network.

When we explored how this worked in colleges we found that this work was far more likely to be done by a team. Yes, there is still a need for an individual with responsibility and accountability and in many cases this is likely to be someone pretty senior in the college. However,  in many cases colleges will support this individual with a number of other more junior careers leaders responsible for delivering particular aspects of the Gatsby Benchmarks. Because of this we’ve presented the jobs differently and made a distinction between strategic and operational leadership tasks.

We also found that colleges were very varied. In some cases, particularly smaller colleges, things were organised more like schools. In other cases they had set up complex structures to manage careers across multiple sites and faculties. The guidance is not designed to prescribe a single way of doing things, rather it offers colleges some useful resources about how careers leadership might best be organised.

I’d be interested to hear if people find it useful.

Understanding the role of the careers leader. A guide for colleges




  1. Hi Tris

    I have had a quick look and while I think this will be great for FE colleges it is not so useful for specialist colleges like the one where I am a governor.

  2. We did talk to Natspec as part of the research and included some (admittedly brief) discussion of how specialist colleges might respond to these requirements.

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